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'Regular release of crime stats will help hold police accountable'

Jeff Radebe announced yesterday that cabinet has decided that crime stats should be released quarterly.

Policer arrested three people following a high speed chase and shoot-out in Alexander. Picture: @SAPoliceService via Twitter.

PRETORIA - The Gauteng Community Policing Board says the regular release of crime statistics will help keep the community to hold their police stations accountable for crime in their areas.

Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe announced yesterday that cabinet has decided that crime stats should be released quarterly.

Annual figures will still be released but these will be the final audited and adjusted figures from the period under review.

The policing board's Thokozane Masilela will improve their ability to monitor police stations and provide oversight.

"We can be able to hold people accountable and make sure that there are no carried over cases or crimes that are not being solved."

Police management says the regular release of the stats will enable police to further mobilise communities in the fight against crime.

LOBBY GROUPS WELCOME THE DECISION

The decision 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.

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

Radebe said 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."

Masilela said the information will help identify crime trends.

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