ISS Africa
Home / ISS Spotlight / Making sense of South African crime statistics
Making sense of South African crime statistics
19 September 2013

The ISS helps journalists, the public and policy makers to understand crime and violence in South Africa. With 15 years experience in the analysis of police crime statistics and victim surveys, the ISS is the primary organisation in Africa able to provide independent analysis and authoritative insights into crime trends and police performance.

A week before the SA Police Service released its 2012/13 crime statistics, analysts and researchers from the ISS Governance, Crime and Justice division briefed journalists on what to expect. Working in partnership with the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism, and fact-checking website Africa Check, ISS also provided guidance to reporters on how best to analyse and report on crime data.

When the new crime figures were released, a team of experienced ISS researchers was standing by to analyse and report on increases in serious and violent crime just months before a national election. Briefings and interviews were held with national and international journalists, and a series of fact sheets, articles and statements released with detailed analysis and comment of the latest crime trends.

The ISS also exposed important types of crime which are not detailed in the police statistics, including the emerging threat of cybercrime and endemic violence in South Africa against women and children. The ISS has continued its campaign to have police crime figures released more often, noting that the current release of statistics just once a year and when they are six months out of date does not enable communities, government departments, business or civil society to respond in good time to emerging threats.

For more information contact:

Gareth Newham,  Governance, Crime and Justice division, ISS Pretoria:

Related documents and links video interview