n Institute for Security Studies Papers - What do the police do? Performance measurement and the SAPS

Volume 2003, Issue 66
  • ISSN : 1026-0404



The South African government requires all departments to establish and track indicators of performance and service delivery, and the South African Police Service has been highly innovative in this area. Public obsession with recorded crime statistics has, unfortunately, resulted in these figures being seen by many as the primary police performance indicator. This paper argues that recorded crime levels do not reflect the real crime situation and may, in fact, increase due to good police work. In addition, there is little evidence that the work the police are trained to do has any impact on the incidence of crime. It is therefore necessary that alternative indicators be developed and publicised that are reflective of what the police actually do; are within their direct control; take into account their capacity and workload; are simple to collect and understand; and promote socially desirable behaviour.

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