Worrying trends: The official 2008/09 South African crime statistics

  • Johan Burger ISS
Keywords: SAPS, police, crime statistics, crime, validity


The South African Police Service (SAPS) released the official crime statistics for 2008/2009 on 22 September 2009. As usual the statistics drew huge media and public interest. This article provides an overview of the key trends and offers an analysis of the statistics. Key trends include that the overall crime rate, after a five-year respite in which there was a downward trend, is on the increase; as are the so-called 'trio crimes'  (house robberies, business robberies and car hijackings) and truck hijackings. This article briefly considers the controversy around the validity of the police's crime statistics and notes a few lessons from Colombia.

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