Perception distorts fact

The recent police successes in bloodying the noses of heist gangs have somewhat raised public confidence in their capacity to turn the tide against crime.

The recent police successes in bloodying the noses of heist gangs have somewhat raised public confidence in their capacity to turn the tide against crime.

Consequently South Africa witnessed less of the brazen banditry that has become the trademark of these gangs - thanks again to pre-emptive planning by police and big business.

Disappointing, though, is that the psychosis of fear continues among South Africans who feel criminals still have the upperhand in their cat-and-mouse game with the police.

This is perhaps not surprising, considering that crime statistics released by police yesterday show that house and business robberies as well as truck hijackings increased between April and September this year. According to the statistics, house robberies rose by 7percent; business robberies by 29,3percent and truck hijacking by 53,3percent.

The good news is that murder, rape, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, common assault, aggravated and common robberies decreased over the past six months.

While we recognise the efforts by police to reduce crime, most of their successes are still, however, drowned by general public perceptions that we're still worse off.

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