DA questions validity of crime stats

The opposition party believes crime statistics should be collected by an independent body.

The DA believes crime statistics should be collected by an independent body.

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Tuesday shot down the credibility of the police's annual crime figures.

It said an independent body should take responsibility for collecting reliable statistics.

Last week, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa released the 2011/2012 crime statistics in Parliament, Cape Town.

It showed an overall drop in contact crimes.

Murder, attempted murder, assault, sexual assault and robbery cases came down across the board, the figures revealed.

Both Mthethwa and Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega praised police, but urged them to do more to combat crime.

However, the DA is now questioning the validity of the statistics.

DA Member of Parliament (MP) Dianne Kohler-Barnard said she intends tabling a motion in Parliament for the establishment of a multi-party ad-hoc committee on crime statistics.

"We need a committee focusing on the crime statistics. The unit would go out there and get credible statistics from throughout the country."

She said Parliament can then decide whether the current process of collecting and collating information is working.

Kohler-Barnard claims the current system is outdated and does not provide an accurate picture of the situation.

The MP said the stats were also open to manipulation.

She suggested the civilian secretariat for police be responsible for collecting the figures.