The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) has welcomed the announcement by Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe that police crime statistics will now be released every quarter, in addition to being released annually.
“We are very happy with this decision”, said Gareth Newham, Head of the Governance, Crime and Justice division at the ISS.
“Police and communities can fight crime more effectively if they have better information released more often. Police are doing the right thing, based on local and international evidence. South Africans should welcome this announcement.”
Radebe reportedly said that releasing the crime statistics more often would allow government to respond swiftly to changing crime trends and contribute to the National Development Plan’s aim to build safer communities.
“The ISS has, for several years, been calling for more regular police crime statistics. This will improve government’s ability to respond, as Minister Radebe points out, but as important is communities can now identify emerging crime problems more quickly.”
This means the effectiveness of crime prevention initiatives can be assessed within three months, rather than waiting more than a year for the required figures. Until now, the SA Police Service released national and local statistics to the public every 12 months – and when they did, the numbers were already six months out of date.
“This decision can help build better partnerships between the local police and communities. The police will now be able to work with citizens to tackle crime using hard numbers rather than piecemeal information. This could be the start of a new approach to reducing crime in South Africa,” Newham said.