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Johannesburg - The use of ratios in the national crime statistics was not intended to “deliberately confuse” the media, police said on Friday.
“The SA Police Service uses ratios as it a common international practice when doing comparisons,” said Lt-Gen Solomon Makgale in a statement.
“When using ratios, it is possible to find that although a certain crime category may have decreased, it may show increase when considering the raw figures. There is nothing untoward.”
He said the country's population change was taken into consideration to improve the analysis.
“If one does not factor population change, it will result in an incorrect analysis and improper understanding of crime statistics,” he said.
“Normally, one would expect that as the population grows so should crime due to the increased opportunities, particularly contact crime.”
The crime statistics were released by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa on Thursday.
Since then some political parties, experts and media questioned the use of ratios and the calculations used to determine the results.
Mthethwa said the number of murders increased by 0.6 percent in the past financial year. However, it was down 16.6 percent over the past four years, and 27.2 percent over the past nine years.
There was also a 6.5 percent increase in attempted murder in the 2012/2013 financial year.This was in contrast to the 16.8 percent decline over the past four years and the 51.7 percent decline over the past nine years. The number of aggravated robberies had also increased by 1.2 percent.