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Stats SA's Victims of Crime Survey misleading, says security expert

14 February 2017 5:58 PM

The Institute for Security Studies says the Victims of Crime Survey conflates the concepts of home robberies and housebreakings.

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) has questioned the decision by Stats SA to group categories of crime together in the latest Victims of Crime Survey (VOCS).

Statistician-General of South Africa Dr Pali Lehohla released the survey, which provides information on crime trends and households perceptions about safety and law enforcement.

According to the survey, households experienced a sharp decline in home robberies and housebreakings during the last five years from 931, 000 (6.8%) in 2010 to 807,000 (5.7%) in 2015/16.

However, ISS's Crime Hub manager Lizette Lancaster says grouping home robberies and housebreakings is inaccurate and may affect the findings.

We haven't seen decreases in house robberies or murders in the past five years. It's slightly misleading that housebreaking and home robberies were clustered together overall.

Lizette Lancaster, Manager of Crime Hub at ISS

We're talking very different types of categories here.

Lizette Lancaster, Manager of Crime Hub at ISS

She explains that a housebreaking is a property crime while a home robbery often occurs with a threat to human life, trauma and physical violence.

Lancaster advises that 250 000 house break-ins were reported to police in the 2015/16, as opposed to just under 21 000 home robberies.

Despite the drop in household crimes, there is a decline in satisfaction with the police and courts between 2010 and 2015/16.

Take a listen to the full analysis:

14 February 2017 5:58 PM