Po­lice re­vise ‘skewed’ crime rates

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - News - Nico Gous

Po­lice ad­mit­ted on Fri­day that they had re­leased skewed crime rates on Tues­day – but said the er­ror did not af­fect the num­ber of crimes recorded.

“Based on the advice from Stats SA re­gard­ing the cor­rect es­ti­mates to use for com­pu­ta­tion of the crime rates‚ the po­lice hereby is­sue a re­vi­sion of the crime rates based on the 2017 mid-year pop­u­la­tion es­ti­mates as at the end of September‚” the South African Po­lice Ser­vice said on Fri­day.

“The re­vi­sion of the es­ti­mates will nei­ther af­fect the raw crime num­bers nor the nine-year crime rate trend but will only af­fect the last rate in the 10-year series that is, the 2017-2018 crime rate.”

Crime rates are the num­ber of crimes that hap­pened per 100‚000 cit­i­zens over a given pe­riod.

The re­vi­sion comes after fact-check­ing web­site Africa Check no­ticed an er­ror.

Po­lice spokesper­son Colonel Ath­lenda Mathe said Stats SA’s 2018 mid-year pop­u­la­tion es­ti­mates had been used to cal­cu­late the 2017-18 crime rates.

This means the crime rates for the 2017-2018 sta­tis­tics‚ which cover April 1 2017 to March 31 2018‚ were cal­cu­lated us­ing the pop­u­la­tion es­ti­mate of June 2018.

“By us­ing a later and larger pop­u­la­tion es­ti­mate‚ it ap­peared that South Africa’s pop­u­la­tion in­creased from 55‚843‚011 people in 2016-2017 to 57‚725‚600 in 2017-2018 – a dif­fer­ence of more than 1.8 mil­lion people‚” Africa Check wrote.

Based on Stats SA’s es­ti­mates‚ the pop­u­la­tion grew by 1.6% be­tween September 2016 and September 2017.

Crime expert Anine Kriegler said: “It has the ef­fect of mak­ing the in­creases in crime rates look smaller and the de­creases look larger.”–

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