South Sudan launches Crime Statistics Reports

10 Oct 2012

image From left to right Hon. General Acuil Tito Madut, Inspector General of Police; Mr. Ishikawa Ryo, Government of Japan; Hon. Dr. Barnaba Marial, Minister of Information; Hon. General Alison Monani Magaya, Minister of Interior; Chief Justice Chan Reec Madut; Hon. Lt. General Aleu Anyieny Aleu, Chairperson, Defence, Security and Public Order Committee; and Mr. Balázs Horváth, Country Director, UNDP.

10 October 2012 – Juba:   The South Sudan National Police Service (SSNPS) released two Quarterly Crimes Statistics reports detailing crime rates, trends, and analysis for the last two quarters on Tuesday 9 October 2012 at Juba Grand Hotel.  UNDP and UNPOL, with funding support from the Government of Japan, provided technical support to the SSNPS at both the national and state level in the collection and analysis of crime statistics. Major General, Johanna Madikotsi Nkomo, UNMISS Deputy Police Commissioner stated “People may be asking why is it important that we are launching statistics.  They are just numbers – but for the woman, child or man who is a victim of crime, they don’t seem themselves as a number.”

The Quarterly Crime Statistics reports have compiled data across nine states covering the types of crimes as well as comparisons between regions and the two quarters. These reports provide a foundation of evidence to understand the current context, enable policy makers to craft informed strategies and serve as a baseline to track progress.  As explained by the Honourable Dr. Barnaba Marial, Minister of Information, this evidence base “will help a young country formulate policy to prevent, reduce and detect crimes and support greater effectiveness in delivery of justice services.”  Major General Johanna Madikotsi Nkomo further elaborated that these reports are a management tool which can help Government to prioritize programmes to prevent crime, noting, “It will tell you crime is because there are no jobs, there is no education, it will tell the Government to support job creation initiatives and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports to start youth programs.”

The availability of reliable and relevant statistics is essential for planning the deployment of scarce resources within the criminal justice system.  Mr. Balázs Horváth, Country Director, UNDP explained why they are critical: “Statistics provide a sound basis for dialogue on policies, decision making on the allocation of resources and the targeting of crime prevention and response mechanisms. They enable us to develop informed strategies and ensure that planning is based on evidence... In these times of austerity and limited resources, it is crucial for all of us to target scarce resources in the most effective way.”  Thus, this data can serve as a tool for monitoring the professionalism of the SSNPS, identify new and emerging patterns of criminal behaviour, and allow development partners to better support the Government in the management of risk.  Mr. Ishikawa Ryo, Government of Japan, explained how his country supports South Sudan in building capacity and stated, “In this respect, the report can play an important role as a great motivation for the esteemed SSNPS. I am sure that formulating the report can become a great step toward the security reform in this country.”

In December 2011, South Sudan began collecting data on crime at the state and county levels and to aggregate it into these quarterly crime statistics reports.  The main source of data is records compiled by the SSNPS, and although there is a level of crime that goes unreported, there is no other reliable source of national crime statistics.   Moreover, it is notable that the Government is beginning this data collection and analysis so early on.  Having this type of information will enable the Government to take the appropriate steps to professionalize the SSNPS, protect citizens and foster secure communities.  Honourable General Acuil Tito Madut, Inspector General of Police stated, “It was difficult to assess our successes and failures.  Police success is measured by crime in a given locality....now our quality of work will only improve.”

The first launch of the Quarterly Crime Statistics reports for December 2011 – February 2012 and for March 2012 – May 2012 also included a detailed presentation on the key findings:

  • Crime has a disproportionate impact on women
  • In the six-months reporting period there has been a general overall decline in the number of major crimes (murder, grievous hurt, theft, housebreaking, and rape)
  • Rates of misappropriate, trespassing and kidnapping have increased over 100% in the six-month reporting period while murder and theft have declined
  • Both murder and offences to property are higher in states with low economic growth (Central Equatoria, Jonglei, Lakes and Western Equatoria)

Presenters also stressed that the collection of these statistics will enable better planning for longer term development, as there cannot be development or peace without security.  Honourable General Alison Monani Magaya, Minister of Interior also added that these statistics are important for other development partners and Government ministries: “this does not only affect the security sector – it concerns all stakeholders... For an efficient administration of justice we all need to collaborate on crime prevention and rule of law. 

Also in attendance were the Honourable Lt. Gen. Aleu Anyieny Aleu, Chairperson of Defence, Security and Public Order Committee and Chief Justice Chan Reec Madut, who stressed the interlinkage between crime prevention and the capacity to bring cases to trial in a fair and transparent manner.  The presentation was followed by a brief question and answer period in which attendees asked questions pertaining to the methodology of collecting these statistics, SSNPS interventions as well as gave some suggestions on collecting crime statistics at the grassroots level.