In Practice

Utility of crime surveys for Sustainable Development Goals monitoring and violence prevention using a public health approach

R Matzopoulos, N Abrahams, B Bowman, N Shai, M Prinsloo, S Salau, D Bradshaw, G Gray

Abstract


The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have highlighted interpersonal violence and violence against women and girls as impediments to development globally. South Africa is adversely affected by violence and injury. The annual Victims of Crime Survey (VoCS) provides a potentially useful source of complementary data to bolster vital registration and police crime statistics, but it may not provide data that are sufficiently accurate and reliable to inform prevention efforts. We conducted a critical assessment of the VoCS’s methodological robustness and strength as a data source for high-level analyses, adopting a public health and SDGs monitoring perspective that was based on expert opinion and comparison with other data sources. We concluded that either the survey methods should be improved to provide findings that are better aligned with the SDGs agenda and are robust enough to inform high-quality research and prevention, or the funds used to conduct the VoCS should be redirected to other more suitable instruments.


Authors' affiliations

R Matzopoulos, Burden of Disease Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa; School of Public Health and Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

N Abrahams, Gender and Health Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa

B Bowman, School of Human and Community Development, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

N Shai, Gender and Health Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa

M Prinsloo, Burden of Disease Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa

S Salau, Department of Statistical Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Cape Town, South Africa

D Bradshaw, Burden of Disease Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa

G Gray, Office of the President, South African Medical Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa

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Keywords

Statistics South Africa; Stats SA; Statistics SA; Victims of crime; Crime victims; Survey; Sustainable Development Goals; SDG; Murder; Homicide; Robbery; Assault; Sexual offence; Sexual assault

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2019;109(6):382-386. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2019.v109i6.13806

Article History

Date submitted: 2019-05-31
Date published: 2019-05-31

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