2006-09-08 : DA: Police stations won't release crime stats

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2006-09-08 : DA: Police stations won't release crime stats

Postby GOSA » Mon, 2006-09-11 13:20

[url]http://www.mg.co.za/articlepage.aspx?area=/breaking_news/breaking_news__national/&articleid=283665[/a]

DA: Police stations won't release crime statistics

Cape Town, South Africa

08 September 2006 03:19

At least 95% of police stations around the country refuse to release crime statistics to the public, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Friday.

A DA survey conducted in six major centres around the country on Thursday found that 39 out of 41 stations visited (95%) refused to release crime statistics, citing the moratorium imposed on the release of such information, spokesperson Dianne Kohler-Barnard said.

"This flies in the face of the comments made by Deputy Minister of Safety and Security Susan Shabangu, who on Wednesday told Parliament that there was no moratorium on crime statistics, and that any member of the public was free to access them at their local police station."

Kohler-Barnard said the survey -- conducted in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth and Potchefstroom -- revealed that the vast majority of police stations would not release statistics to the public because of a moratorium on crime statistics.

"The DA survey shows up the deputy minister's comments for what they were -- ill-informed nonsense that is out of touch with reality," she said.

Shabangu did not appear to know what her own department's policy was regarding the release of crime statistics. Her remarks were nothing short of a gross distortion of the facts.

In both June and July, the DA was told by Minister of Safety and Security Charles Nqakula that no crime statistics would be released until the department's annual report came out in September.

"In light of the seeming inability of the police to protect South Africans against violent criminals, it is essential that people can access up-to-date information on crimes in their local areas, so that they can assist and protect themselves.

"However, researchers, local councillors and ordinary South Africans have found it almost impossible to get station-level statistics from the police due to the minister's refusal to release them."

It was unacceptable that Shabangu had seemingly misled the public in an attempt to excuse her department's failure to keep the public informed.

"Current statistics are available to the minister, but are being held back in Pretoria at the expense of the public's welfare," Kohler-Barnard said. -- Sapa
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