THE DANGERS OF DATA: Recognising the limitations of crime statistics

  • Antony Altbeker Institute for Security Studies
Keywords: police, crime, crime statistics, South Africa, crime data


It is frequently noted that police crime statistics can reflect reality badly because of under-reporting and under-recording. Less frequently noted is the fact that other sources of data can be just as problematic. This article reflects on two sources of statistics on murder – the National Injury Mortality Surveillance System and the MRC’s Burden of Disease estimates – and argues that the incautious use of these data can lead to erroneous conclusions.

Author Biography

Antony Altbeker, Institute for Security Studies


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