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Govt’s decision to release crime stats more often widely welcomed

Crime stats will now be released 4 times a year in a bid to empower communities to help police.

Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The decision by government to release crime statistics four times a year has been widely welcomed as a strong step towards empowering communities to help the police in combating crime.

Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe announced yesterday that Cabinet had decided that the figures will be released quarterly, in addition to the main annual release of the statistics.

Lobby groups and crime researchers have been calling for more regular updates on crime figures for several years.

Radebe says this decision will empower decision-makers with the necessary information to tackle crime.

"The need for frequent statistics will enable government to make progress in addressing issues from crime trends."

The Gauteng community policing board's Thokozane Masilela says the information will help identify crime trends.

"It helps to look at particular crimes at a particular time and redirect resources to those crimes."

Police management says the regular statistics will better inform the public on efforts to combat crime.