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Three quarters of South Africans believe that a lot of police are criminals themselves. 70% say they are afraid and alert all the time because of crime, while 44% of South Africans feel there is no point to reporting crime to police. It is not surprising that 9 in 10 of our adult population think that Crime Line, an independent crime tip-off service, is a good idea.

This according to futurefact, an annual survey that examines the attitudes and beliefs of citizens in the country. The survey further noted:

  • 3 in 10 of adults fear going to a police station to report a crime themselves, while a third say they are scared of the police. Under these circumstances being able to resort to a more distant reporting source such as Crime Line is likely to prove useful. Interestingly the survey also reveals that trust and confidence is vested more in journalists than in the police.
  • The fear and alertness that crime brings has increased significantly over the last two years from 63% to 70% and lack of direct reporting of crime has also increased from 39% to 44%. In only one year, the belief that Crime Line is a good idea has gone from 82% to 91%. All these increases reflect a society that is becoming more and more anxious about crime and its impact.

Crime Line clearly is playing a substantial role in enabling people to address crime in a way that feels more effective than directly to the police themselves.

futurefact has been surveying the attitudes and beliefs of South Africans since 1998. The findings presented above are from the futurefact survey conducted in late 2014, based on a probability sample of 3,048 adults aged 18 years and over, living in communities of more than 500 people throughout South Africa and representing 22,8 million adults. If you would like to find out more about futurefact and its extensive attitudinal databases please visit www.futurefact.co.za.

Press release by Crimeline on 3 Februrary 2015