A crime stat is only a crime stat once it has been reported to SAPS.
“It appears that there are a large number of crimes that simply go unreported because of the nature of the crime or because of a lack of confidence in the system,” says Charnel Hattingh, National Marketing & communications Manager, Fidelity ADT.
Hattingh says selective reporting of crime is problematic as it contributes to the dissemination of misinformation around crime, rather than accurate and contextualised information which the SAPS and private security companies can then work on to apprehend suspects.
“No matter how big or small or how insignificant you feel the crime is – report it!” says Hattingh.
Here are seven key reason to report crime:
- It helps with establishing crime trends and provides authorities with invaluable information on how to best allocate resources.
- It helps in understanding both motive and modus of the crime and how crime prevention strategies are being deployed
- It may alter decisions homeowners make about their personal safety
- It can influence how homeowners live day to day
- It helps the community to better understand and respond to safety issues
- It can lead to more arrests as your crime could be a critical link to another similar crime and could result in an arrest.
“A community approach to fighting crime is essential and always pays dividends leading to safer communities. It starts off with a commitment from residents to report crimes accurately and a follow up commitment from SAPS and other influencers in the sector, like the private security industry, to follow up on all leads and react proactively to trends and incidents to reduce crime levels,” concludes Hattingh.