Survey: Three in ten adults are scared of the police

A third of adults in South Africa fear the police, a Futurefact survey recently found.

“Three in 10 adults fear going to a police station to report a crime themselves, while a third say they are scared of the police,” the research company found.

Seventy percent of respondents indicated they were constantly alert to the risk of crime and afraid of it.

Nearly half – 44% – felt there was no point in reporting crime to the police.

The study was based on the results of a survey conducted late last year on a probability sample of 3 048 adults throughout South Africa, representing 22.8-million adults.

Given the findings relating to fears around reporting crime to the police, the research implied that a more distant method of reporting criminal activity, such as Crime Line, was likely to prove useful.

Last week the SA Institute for Race Relations (SAIRR) released in a report, titled Broken Blue Line 2, that some SA Police Service members played a major role in perpetrating serious violent crime.

SAIRR CEO Frans Cronje said at the time that such police officers often used their policing powers and official equipment to perpetrate crimes, and that criminal gangs appeared to benefit from internal support from police.

South African Police Service management have questioned the methodology of the SAIRR report, saying it was based on assumptions and inferences and the research had not been stress-tested.

“The report contains dangerous generalisations, apparently mostly based on media reports, interviews with journalists and some form of engagement with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate,” Lieutenant General Solomon Makgale said at the time.

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