We should measure police performance on response times‚ complaints against the police and their clearance rates‚ not their annual crime statistics.
That is what University of Cape Town crime expert Anine Kriegler said on Monday ahead of the release of the police’s annual crime statistics on Tuesday.
Kriegler warned the public not to draw conclusions about police minister Bheki Cele’s performance based on the numbers.
“If we want to know how Cele is doing‚ we need to wait until the full SAPS annual report is released. That will give us the really important info on response times‚ complaints against the police‚ case clearance rates and so on. That is how we should be measuring police performance‚ not the crime stats‚” Kriegler said.
“With the possible exception of rates of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition‚ which may be a reasonable measure of how hard police are working to find illegal firearms‚ for example through door-to-door or roadblock operations. Firearms drive lots of other crime‚ including robberies and of course murders and attempted murders.”
Unisa crime expert Rudolph Zinn expects crime numbers to decrease‚ but that violent crime will remain a problem.
“Our murder rate is on the increase ... Especially the murder of women and children‚” Zinn said.