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Citation Information

Type Book
Title National victims of crime survey South Africa 2003
Author(s)
Edition Monograph
Volume 101
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2004
Page numbers 0-0
Publisher Institute for Security Studies
City Pretoria
Country/State South Africa
URL http://www.issafrica.org/pubs/Monographs/No101/Contents.html
Abstract
In 2003, the Crime and Justice Programme of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) undertook the second national victims of crime survey in South Africa. The study was prompted by the need for an accurate picture of crime levels in
the country to complement that provided by the official crime statistics published annually by the South African Police Service (SAPS). While a similar need exists in countries throughout the world, the moratorium on the release of police crime statistics in South Africa intensified the requirement for an independent and reliable national study on crime levels (see text box below). The onset of the moratorium coincided with claims by the SAPS and the Department of Safety and Security that crime levels were stabilising. However in the absence of any statistical information on the extent of crime nationally, South Africans became increasingly sceptical of the motives and pronouncements of the police on the matter. In a climate such as this, a national victim survey is the only reliable means available for providing an alternative picture of crime. Fortunately, a similar study was conducted in 1998 which allows for a comparison of crime levels over time, and thus provides a means of assessing police claims that crime has stabilised. The 2003 survey was also motivated by other equally important, if less controversial, needs. No comprehensive national study has been carried out in this country on the risk factors that predispose certain people to becoming crime victims. This data is essential for shaping broad crime prevention policy, and the national victim survey provides an ideal opportunity for this endeavour.

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