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Police stand by crime stats

Police say the ISS is using an old argument which boils down to a difference in interpretation.

FILE: Police say the ISS is using an old argument which boils down to a difference in interpretation. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Police are standing by their latest crime statistics and say claims that numbers are flawed will only confuse the public.

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) on Wednesday said it found serious statistical errors in the 2012/13 figures.

It said South Africans do not have an accurate picture of the threats they face.

The ISS says the mistake in determining crime trends is the result of comparing different population estimates for the two years under review.

ISS' Gareth Newham says they want an independent inquiry to look into the statistics.

"It understates all the increases in serious violent crime categories such as murder and robbery, while exaggerating any of the decreases."

The police's Solomon Makgale says this is an old argument which boils down to a difference in interpretation.

"There's nothing new that we've done. We have a particular formula that we've used consistently when we release crime statistics. We are not going to change it."

The latest figures showed an increase in crimes like murder and house robberies.

But the ISS says the picture could be worse than what is being reported.