Crime stats don’t add up, claims DA

Inmates are seen inside a prison courtyard. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Inmates are seen inside a prison courtyard. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

The DA has punted the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) as the independent watchdog to audit crime statistics.

After briefing the media yesterday ahead of the release of the annual crime stats today, Dianne Kohler Barnard said figures provided simply did not match.

“The ISS would be the ideal entity; they are trustworthy; highly respected and they would know [if figures provided by the police did not add up]. It is the equivalent of allowing a matriculant to mark his own paper.”

Kohler Barnard said for example the thousand babies who had been killed in fields or thrown down toilets were only ever captured as inquests. They had not been included in last year’s murder stats.

“It’s a massive, massive issue… and also the bodies in the state mortuaries in Gauteng, there are more than a thousand of them [not listed]. It doesn’t match up with the statistics,” said Kohler Barnard.

“Aside from under-reporting or the failure of SA Police Service (SAPS) officers to actually process reported cases due to performance targets, the statistics are open to manipulation, as they are not independently audited.”

She said in order for crime stats to be believed and have more value, they had to be reported through comprehensive quarterly reports to parliament. Up-to-date stats were needed; not those that were six months to a year old.

“For instance, the SAPS should use hand-held consoles or smart phones linked directly to police stations. This would allow SAPS officers to update crimes reported and arrests made in real time,” she said.

Leadership was needed, she said. Not the leadership of a minister and a national commissioner more concerned with protecting President Jacob Zuma from being held accountable on Nkandla or to try and cover up the Marikana massacre, she said.

“National government and the SAPS are failing in the fight against crime. “But we do not need to accept crime as an inescapable reality in South Africa,” said KohlerBarnard.


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