What is the Crime Hub?

2020-11-30

The Crime Hub is a source of regularly updated, credible information and analysis on crime, violence, and the functioning of the criminal justice system in South Africa. It was launched in 2010 by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) with funding from the Hanns Seidel Foundation. Publicly available information is used to create detailed maps, interactive tools, fact sheets and analysis.

The Crime Hub creates maps with information about all crime on national and provincial levels, and in police station precincts and municipalities. The data comes from the annual crime statistics and other public releases made by the South Africa Police Service (SAPS).

A dedicated Crime Hub team verifies the data before publishing it. The team checks whether police precinct or municipal boundaries have changed during the last reporting year. It uses georeferencing to account for these changes, ensuring the maps reflect accurate information.

Population data from censuses and Statistics SA are used to calculate rates of crime for the maps. This is to ensure that changes in population size are considered alongside changes in the crime statistics.

Our public violence map was launched in January 2013 and is updated weekly. We track and report protests and public violence by scrutinising media reports, labour bulletins, crime alert groups and other public sources. The map may exclude isolated events that weren’t reported, but otherwise provides a good indicator of trends over time.

Information from the police’s annual crime statistics as well as annual reports by courts and correctional services form the basis of the Crime Hub’s interactive tools. It validates the information from the various sources and makes it available in one place.

Users can use the Crime Hub’s interactive tools to create comparative graphs for various aspects of South African criminal and justice systems. They can search for information by category such as crime type, reporting year, or police precinct.

The Crime Hub’s user-friendly maps, fact sheets and analytical tools enable government, civil society, academics, community-based organisations, and the media to better understand violence and crime in South Africa.   

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