Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Did 142 academics and others get it wrong on crime?


Related:
The Academic Wall of Shame
Melissa Steyn: The Architect of The Vitriolic Attack By Academics

As the HSRC research report noted, "When analysed by population group, distinct differences emerge. White and Indian respondents report substantially higher victimisation rates than black or coloured respondents.

Victimisation surveys fail to support claims made in open letter to Canadian govt


Johannesburg - Last week some of South Africa's most prominent academics appended their signatures to an open letter protesting the granting of refugee status in Canada to a white South African, Brandon Huntley (see here). The refugee panel board apparently found (inter alia) that the ANC government was failing to protect the white minority from criminal violence perpetrated by black South Africans.

The 142 signatories included Melissa Steyn, Intercultural and Diversity Studies, University of Cape Town; Martin Hall, Vice-Chancellor, University of Salford; Max Price, Vice-Chancellor, UCT; Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor, University of the Free State; Thandi Sidzumo-Mazibuko, Acting Vice Principal, UNISA; Crain Soudien, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor, UCT; Adam Habib, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Johannesburg; and, Arnold van Zyl, Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Stellenbosch.

In the letter, addressed to the Charge d'Affaires of Canada in South Africa, the signatories protested that "it is simply untrue that white people are being targeted disproportionately. Black South Africans are much more likely to be victims of crime, largely because they are less able to afford the protections and security measures which most white South Africans, as still privileged citizens, are able to acquire."

Given the eminence of the signatories, their sheer weight in numbers, and its apparent plausibility, this assertion has gone largely unquestioned. But is it true? A number of crime victimisation surveys have been conducted over the past decade. Do they support, or contradict, the claims of this combination of learned academics?

What the crime victimisation surveys say

In March 1998 Statistics South Africa conducted a comprehensive ‘victims of crime survey' (see here). This found that whites were somewhat more likely to fall victim to crime than other race groups. 16,5% of white respondents said they had experienced at least one individual crime in 1997, as compared to 16,8% of Coloureds, 14,1% of black respondents, and 11,4% of Indian respondents. Black and Coloured respondents were slightly more likely than whites to have experienced violent crime as individuals (but not households.) The differential between black and white individual victimisation rates (2,4%) was fairly low.

Table 1. Individual crime victimisation (Jan to Dec 1997)




Black


White


Coloured


Indian


One (or more)

14.1


16.5


16.8


11.4

None


85.9


83.5


83.2


88.6


Source: Statistics South Africa survey, 1998


This survey was conducted in the period during which the ANC transitioned from its policy of ‘reconciliation' to the aggressive pursuit of ‘Africanisation.' In 1998 the ANC began the implementation of its dual policies of taking control over the levers of state power and asserting ‘African hegemony' within them. The ANC leadership now also began to express virulent anti-white rhetoric.

For instance in a speech in February 1999 the then Minister of Health, Nkosazana Zuma, accused the white minority, and their political representatives, of arrogantly refusing "to acknowledge that they need to cleanse their hands, which for decades have been dripping with the blood and tears of millions of victims....They have shown no remorse or contrition and pay scant regard to the suffering, pain and humiliation for which they have been responsible."

It is an open question whether such racialist propaganda would have given the green light to criminals to cross over the colour line en masse. However, at the end of 1999 an HSRC survey found that 39% of white respondents had experienced crime over the previous year, as opposed to 16% of black respondents. As the HSRC research report noted, "When analysed by population group, distinct differences emerge. White and Indian respondents report substantially higher victimisation rates than black or coloured respondents" (see here- PDF).


Table 2: Reported crime victimisation (Nov 1998 to Nov 1999)





Blacks


Whites


Coloureds


Indians


None


84


61


82


68


Once


11


19


10


15


More than once


5.8


20


8.6


17


Source: HSRC, national opinion survey 1999


In 2003, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) conducted a further victim of crime survey, designed to be compatible with the 1998 Statistics South Africa one. This found that "Black (64%) and coloured (62%) South Africans were much more likely to feel very safe during the day than whites (35%) and Indians (11%)."

Despite being "still privileged citizens" whites and Indians were less able to secure their own homes than other race groups. The report on the survey noted: "In terms of who is most at risk of housebreaking, white (14%) and Indian (14%) households were more likely to say they were burglarised than were blacks (7%) and coloureds (4%)...Most of the burglaries discussed by respondents occurred at night (70%), but were as likely to occur when the residents were at home (50%) as when they were absent (50%)."

More recent surveys continue to suggest that the prosperous racial minorities were still more likely to fall victim to crime, despite the extensive security measures that they may have invested in. In April/May 2007 Markinor asked crime victimisation questions in its regular omnibus survey. These found that a disproportionate number of whites (20%) and Indians (22%) had fallen victim to crime over the past six months, as compared to black (9%) and coloured (9%) respondents.


Table 3: Victims of crime in intimate circle (Sept 2006 to March 2007)





Blacks


Whites


Coloureds


Indians


YES


32


56


31


66


NO


68


44


69


34


Source: Markinor survey, March 2007


56% of whites and 66% of Indians said they knew someone in their intimate circle who had fallen victim to crime over the past six months.


Table 4: Individual crime victimisation (Sept 2006 to March 2007)





Blacks


Whites


Coloureds


Indians


YES


9


20


9


22


NO


91


80


91


78


Source: Markinor survey, March 2007


The ISS's 2007 crime victim survey, conducted in Oct-Nov 2007, also found that white (29%) and Indian (32%) respondents were more likely to report having fallen victim to crime over the past twelve months than black (22%) and coloured (25%) respondents.


Table 5: Individual victims of crime Oct 2006 to Oct 2007





Blacks


Whites


Coloureds


Indians


YES


22


29


25


32


NO


78


71


75


68


Source: ISS, National Victimisation Survey, 2007


In a report on these results Michael O'Donovan noted that "contrary to popular perception, the likelihood of being a victim of a crime rises with income. The high rating accorded police by African respondents in general is largely a product of their low victimisation rates which, in turn, reflect higher levels of poverty within the group."

This finding, O'Donavan notes, "is in accordance with other data, like the official crime statistics, which also indicate that poorer areas enjoy lower rates of serious crime. Obviously the levels of victimisation vary by social group, and different communities will be susceptible to different crimes. Poor communities, for example, may experience higher levels of assault and rape, but will not be as vulnerable to vehicle hijacking, bank robberies or business burglaries. Both SAPS statistics on serious offences and the NVS surveys show that wealthier communities and individuals are, in general, more likely to be the victim of crimes."

Conclusion

Thus, all these surveys show that, over the past decade, white (and latterly Indian) South Africans have been "much more likely to be victims of crime" than black South Africans.

It is possible that there are other surveys out there which contradict the findings above. Politicsweb did contact four of the signatories asking for the sources for their claims on crime. At the time of publication this had not been supplied.

The results of the surveys above do however accord with other survey results which have found an extremely high fear of crime among these particular racial minorities. If one follows the logic of the signatories of the open letter - that whites and Indians should be less vulnerable because of the "protections and security measures" they are able to afford - what does it say if they are, in reality, more likely to fall victim to crime?

Another question is why over a hundred of our top academics appended their signature to a document without (apparently) interrogating its factual accuracy?

12 Opinion(s):

Grumbleguts said...

email: Melissa.Steyn@uct.ac.za

Doberman said...

There are none so blind as those who will not see. She will never concede because FACTS do not form part of the equation with leftwingers. What they believe, repeated often enough, becomes fact. The truth to them, as VI says is, "an inconvenience".

FishEagle said...

"The truth to them, as VI says is, "an inconvenience"." Then what the hell is the point of having academics??? Disgraceful.

Vanilla Ice said...

Vindication. You heard it at ILSA first; except we analysed murder rates.

Here is the ILSA research.

"Asians experience murder rates 37.84% higher than can be explained, followed by whites at 23.92% and coloureds at 14.34%"

Here is the HSRC, and other research.

"White and Indian respondents report substantially higher victimisation rates than black or coloured respondents."

Next question. Who are the perpetrators?

Find out here.

Anonymous said...

Cuckoo! Cuckoo!... Soaring Huntley's eyrie is fouled by Cuckoo Steyn, her cuckoos and their ill-timed, cuckoo clocks: Cuckoo! Cuckoo!...

Doberman said...

Yes indeed, Vanilla Ice was the first to analyse the figures and accurately state the truth on ILSA.

Anonymous said...

If it weren't so tragic it would be almost amusing how you defeat your own argument with these statistics. What these statistics show are economic gradations, not ones of color. I quote from the above blog:

"...wealthier communities and individuals are, in general, more likely to be the victim of crimes."

The fact that the crime statistics are consistent with race is the legacy of Apartheid.

Instead of crying 'racism' at every opportunity perhaps we should be looking to the real problem here...that of poverty.

Vanilla Ice said...

@Anon 10:52. Not quite. You have chosen a lazy thinker's view, simply because there is a correlation and it is more palatable for you. The issue is whether whites are targetted because of their race. Even if they are economically advantaged, a black perpetrator will still select them on the basis of colour, on the assumption that whites have more; even though 1 million whites live in poverty. This amounts to racial persecution regardless. Moreover, in order to be a "legacy of Apartheid" you would expect whites to be disproportionately victims of crime. Our research shows that Asians are disproportionately the victims of murder. Why would that be then?

Ron. said...

I think using the term "liberal" is too generous because the term implies "freedom of conscience" when clearly these so called "liberals" are anything of the sort as they preach a set DOGMA & if any inconvenient facts get in the way of their dogma they view the facts as "wrong" not the dangerous dogma. These folks are downright conservative in the sense they are attempting to conserve their hold & influence on societies but I think it is far more accurate to call them fascists because they are attempting to shape discourse to fit into a rigid dogma while denying the genocidal consequences of their rhetoric.

Vanilla Ice said...

@Ron. Well stated.

Viking said...

@Ron
Absolutely, well said. So-called "liberals" are obsessed with control, not freedom.

Anonymous said...

Well said Ron!

It is for this reason, highlighed by Viking above, that I choose NEVER to call them "Liberals"! Indeed it is those who own the media who have hijacked the term "Liberal", just as they have so many other terms and concepts!

Common Sense