n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Crime statistics : a critical discussion of more policeable and less policeable crimes

Volume 27, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



Crime statistics provide the public with the state of the country's crime levels and empower people to make informed decisions on where they want to live or operate their businesses from. Being aware of these crime levels helps them to decide on the form and level of security (low; medium; high) that they may use to protect themselves against crime and victimisation. Crime encroaches on people's freedom and liberties and therefore, the ability of the police to manage crime should be central to the public's need for safety and security. The analysis and the subsequent interpretation of crime statistics are not only important for police operations but also for the society at large. This allows us to expose a broad spectrum of factors that contribute to crime levels which the public has to take into account to reduce their vulnerability to crime. This article seeks to analyse crime statistics within the context of more policeable and less policeable crimes. This categorisation is constantly used by the South African Police Service (SAPS) to explain crime incidents. The irony of this categorisation is the paradox it creates when the decrease of the so-called less policeable crimes is attributed to police activities, while the same activities are not seen to be impacting positively on the so-called more policeable crimes. This raises the question: are the so-called less policeable crimes indeed less policeable and the so-called more policeable crimes indeed more policeable?

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