‘SA crime stabilising, remains stubbornly high’

Stats SA released the findings of a study on crime in SA, focusing on murder, sexual assault and assault.

FILE: The Alexandra Police Station was turned into a crime scene after a constable was killed after killing his wife and three others after she opened a case of domestic violence against him on 3 June 2015. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - A recent Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) comparison, between its victims of crime survey and the official crime statistics shows that while crime in South Africa has stabilised, it remains stubbornly high.

Statistician General Pali Lehohla released the findings at a briefing in Pretoria today.

The study focused on contact crimes namely murder, sexual assault and assault.

Lehohla says perceptions of crime differ from the reality.

"Crime in South Africa has more or less stabilised, but it's stabilising at a fairly high level. Perceptions about how crime is manifesting itself in South Africa are overwhelmingly that crime is increasing."

He says the nature of crimes is largely driven by people who know each other.

"It occurs in the homes where people know one another; there is a very social aspect to it. Crime can be dealt with by police, but in South Africa the types of crimes that we are experiencing require a different social compact."

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The study of the victims of crime survey shows that the most violent crimes affecting South Africans are beyond the scope of regular policing.

Stats SA has compared the findings of its victims of crimes survey to the police's official crime stats, and looked specifically at murder, assault and sexual assault.

Lehohla says the vast majority of the contact crimes take place between people who know each and other in the privacy of their homes.

"When we look at the reasons why people say there was a crime committed, its jealousy, money issues [and] anger towards a family member. It suggests that it's not a Saps issue."

He says women bear the brunt of such crimes.