Fact Check: Is there any truth behind Bheki Cele's golden ratio?

Fact Check: Is there any truth behind Bheki Cele's golden ratio?

Minister Bheki Cele recently claimed that South Africa's police-citizen ratio was 1 officer for every 383 people. Briefly.co.za takes a look into what the police minister claims is a UN standard.

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Minister Bheki Cele recently claimed that the nation's police to citizen ratio was below the United Nation's recommendation.

However, experts say the number of officers alone will not be enough on its own to solve the country's crime problems, with quality vital to solving the issue.

Briefly.co.za checks the facts behind the police minister's dubious statement:

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Cele recently claimed that the United Nations recommends one police officer to every 220 citizens while addressing South Africa's crime problem.

Reneilwe Serero, spokesperson for the minister, claims the ratio on the UN's recommended police to citizen ration can be found on their website.

However, Africa Check reports that this ration was not listed anywhere on the site. Instead, the ratio can be traced back to when the United States police occupied Germany in 1945.

All that time ago one policeman oversaw 450 civilians, with this ration being passed down in various UN documents over the years.

Mark Shaw, head of the Global Initiative against Transnational Organised Crime, says that he doubts the existence of such a ratio:

“I doubt that agreement on such a number would be possible. I am not sure where the numbers that are used come from, but for them to carry ‘official status’ they would need to have been included in the UN standards and norms on crime prevention and criminal justice. They are not there."

So while Cele was attempting to solve a resilient issue with an increase in the number of police officers, the golden ratio is an unproven notion.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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