Sydney Majoko
3 minute read
17 Sep 2019
9:12 am

Police crime stats remain an exercise in futility

Sydney Majoko

What we lack is leadership to measure the right crime variables and act decisively on them.

Minister of Police Bheki Cele. Picture: EPA-EFE/NIC BOTHMA

Business management expert Peter Drucker said: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” When then minister of police Steve Tshwete passed away while in office in 2002, South Africa’s crime statistics were being released every quarter. Incoming minister Charles Nqakula then took the decision to have the statistics released annually. There were very valid reasons for the move, among which was that releasing damning stats of an ever-increasing crime rate created a state of permanent panic among citizens and allowed a state of fear to prevail in the police ranks when it came to dealing with crime. The...