Yesterday’s distressing crime statistics revelations may not reflect an accurate state of affairs, with an expert questioning the reliability of the report as the reporting of crimes notably dwindled year by year.
He added that although the report was not a positive one, he sympathised with the South African Police Service (SAPS) because the responsibility could not rest on their shoulders alone.
Security expert Johan Burger stressed that he was not saying the stats were untrue because the police worked with the data they had, which were primarily the cases that were reported to them.
He was more concerned about the cases that were not reported and what it said about the current statistics.
“Right now it seems that we are just speculating because reporting of many crimes has seen a year-on-year decrease, which means the statistics may not be a true reflection of all crimes committed in the country,” he said.
“For too long, we have only been relying on police for statistics on crime, which feeds into the idea that when crime is up, it’s the police’s problem.
“There needs to be a change in the way that crime statistics are released to include all relevant departments that could help in the preventative measures.”
He explained that there needed to be a collective response to ensure long-term preventative measures which would work towards changing the attitudes of young people and educating them on how violence was not the right way to deal with things.
His colleague and security expert Gareth Newham said: “South Africa’s high level of violence is rooted in its violent past and continues across generations. Most violent behaviour is learned or tolerated in the home, communities and schools where children either directly experience or witness violence.
“Government is increasingly aware that addressing violence against children is a necessary condition for sustainable public safety. Encouraging steps are in place to partner with civil society to accelerate action to end violence experienced by children.”