FALLING CRIME, RISING FEAR: 2003 National Victims of Crime Survey

  • Duxita Mistry Institute for Security Studies
Keywords: National Victims of Crime Survey, South Africa, crime, public perception


For several years, the police have maintained that crime levels in South Africa are ‘stabilising’. Without alternative sources of crime statistics, it is impossible to test these claims. The most reliable supplements to police data are national victim surveys, which are now conducted regularly in several countries for precisely this purpose. The 2003 National Victims of Crime Survey shows that crime levels, as measured by the surveys, have indeed declined since 1998. Public sentiment does not reflect this good news however – feelings of safety are much worse now than they were five years ago.

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