THE SIEVE EFFECT : South Africa’s conviction rates in perspective

  • Ted Leggett Institute for Security Studies
Keywords: crime, South Africa, conviction, conviction rate, sieve effect


Figures that suggest that only six out of every 100 violent crimes recorded by the South African Police Service result in a conviction are cause for concern. But every country experiences a ‘sieve effect’ – most reported crimes never even make it to court. Comparing South Africa’s success rates to those of England and the United States suggests that the country’s criminal justice system is not as dysfunctional as one might think.

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