What does the latest Crime Statistics tell us about the need for insurance in South Africa?

The crime statistics for 2010/11 released by Minister Nathi Mthethwa show that government is making progress in some areas, there are instance where we are reaching stability and there are types of crimes which are still a challenge.”

The National Crime Situation in South Africa

During 2010/2011 a total of 2 071 487 (approximately 2,1 million) serious crime cases were registered in the RSA, compared to the 2 121 887 cases registered during 2009/2010. This means that the total number of serious crimes was reduced by -2,4% or 50 400 cases. This decrease exceeds the target determined by Government, namely to reduce the total volume of serious crime by -1,0% to -1,8% per annum. The ratio of serious crime per 100 000 of the population decreased by -3,7% (from 4 302.1 to 4 143.6).

The above reduction target determined by Government was originally intended to apply to all 20 categories of serious crime discussed in this report. However, the Portfolio Committee on Police requested that the target should in future not include the three categories of crime labeled as crimes mainly detected as a result of police action. If these crimes are excluded from the calculation, the remaining number of crimes decreased from 1 909 566 to 1 839 645 cases (i.e. by 69 921 cases or -3,7%), with a concomitant ratio decrease of -5,0% (from 3 871.6 to 3 679.9).

Crime detected as a result of police action should increase if the police actually do what they are supposed to be doing and should thus logically not be included among those crimes which are expected to decrease if the police are effective in their crime combating efforts. To include these crimes in a reduction target would therefore be counter-productive. The -5,0% decrease is thus the correct yardstick and exceeds the government target two-and-a-half times.

Figure 1 illustrates the numbers of cases registered and proportional contribution of each of the broad crime types to the total crime picture in South Africa. Of the approximately 2,1 million cases, almost a third (30,8% or 638 468 cases) were contact crimes; about a quarter (25,8% or 534 866 cases) were other serious crimes; another quarter (25,8% or 534 451 cases) were property-related crimes; 11,2% (231 842 cases) were crimes detected as a result of police action; and 6,4% (131 860 cases) were contactrelated crimes (more information on the specific proportions will be provided in each section dealing with the types of crime in question).

[Info from SAPS]

Click for the complete Crime Report 2010/2011

Figure 1

There is a direct link between Insurance premiums and Crime in South Africa. On Insurance Chat we will be taking a closer look at some of these numbers and especially the impact that they might have on the Insurance Industry!

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