Dr. Chris de Kock obtained his B.A. (cum laude) in 1974, and Hons. B.A. (cum laude) in 1975 at the University of Stellenbosch. He obtained his M.A. (cum laude) in 1978 and D. Litt. et Phil. in 1985 at the University of South Africa. The post graduate degrees were in Sociology.
De Kock started his research career in 1976 at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) as an Assistant-researcher, and when he left the HSRC for the SAPS, in August 1995, he was a Chief Research Specialist. In the nearly 20 years at the HSRC he specialised in the areas of perception surveys, political violence, crime and the dynamics of crowd behaviour. During this period he either on his own or as main or co-author produced more than 60 publications. Some typical examples of these are:
-De Kock, Chris; Schutte, Charl; Rhoodie, Nic and Ehlers, Diana. A quantitative analysis of some possible explanations for the hostel- township violence. In: Minnaar, Anthony.1993. Communities in isolation. HSRC Publishers, Pretoria.
-De Kock, Chris. Political violence in South Africa: are we putting out the fire from the top or the bottom? In: Rhoodie,Nic and Liebenberg, Ian.1994. Democratic nation-building in South Africa. HSRC Publishers, Pretoria.
-De Kock Chris. Movements in South African Mass Opinion and Party Support to 1993. In: Johnson, R.W. and Schlemmer, L. 1996. Launching Democracy in South Africa. The First Open Election, April 1994. Yale University Press. New Haven and London.
While still at the HSRC, Dr. De Kock participated as an expert witness in various committees of the Goldstone Commission of Inquiry regarding the Prevention of Public Violence and Intimidation. Examples of these included: the violence in Katorus; attacks on members of the SAP (South African Police); attacks on trains; public order policing and township-hostel violence.
In August 1995 he was appointed as head of the Crime Information Analysis Centre (CIAC- although at that stage still called the CIMC (Crime Information Management Centre)) with the rank of Assistant Commissioner, which was then changed to Major-General. For the next nearly 18 years he and his team inter alia build a strong crime analysis capacity at all levels of policing, but especially at station level where it matters the most. An information base for intelligence led policing at station level were created by training thousands of crime analysts to do daily crime mapping, case linkage analysis and fieldwork to explain the what, where, when, why and who of crime at station level. Modern crime intelligence in the world today mainly consists (up to 80% -90%) of proper analysis of the facts provided in statements by the victims/complainants of crime.
On a more strategic level, especially nationally, De Kock with his team elevated the limited pre-1995 analysis capacity, which was mostly based on the description of statistics and thumb suck explanations, to more explanatory and contextualized analysis. This was based on inter alia docket-, micro-GIS- and qualitative analysis. Unfortunately given the extent of the work and the limited human and other resources the team could not progress to the point where multivariate analysis was done. But even as early as1998 the Committee of Inquiry into the Collection, Processing and Publication of Crime Statistics (also known as the Orkin committee since it was chaired by Dr. Mark Orkin, the then DG of Stats SA and later President of the HSRC) appointed by the Minister for Safety and Security, Mr FS Mufamadi, and assisted by three international experts, namely: Ms M. Patten ( Belgium Gendarmerie), Mr R. Hidalgo ( Judicial Police, Ministry of the Interior, France) and Mr C. Lewis ( Head of the Offenders and Corrections Unit of the Research and Statistics Directorate , Home Office, UK.) found that: “…the Quarterly Reports produced by CIMC were interesting ,clear, useful and honest about the gathering and processing problems facing police crime statistics. The reports also include statistics from other sources such as docket analysis and survey data to supplement recorded police figures. The experts also remarked on some impressive analyses of crime being carried out by provincial CIMC offices.”(p.22)
It should be mentioned that De Kock is the only person which were a member of the Orkin committee of inquiry into the collection, processing, and publication of crime statistics (1997-1998), the moratorium on crime statistics task team (July 2000-May 2001) and the National Commissioner’s Task Team on crime statistics (April 2010 until retirement in April 2013). Since a member of all three committees/task teams he has an institutional memory of every decision taken on the gathering, analysis, and dissemination of crime statistics over the two decades since the dawn of democracy in South Africa. He experienced the positives and negatives of monthly, quarterly, semester and annual releases of crime statistics.
During the nearly 18 years at the SAPS he wrote more reports than the 60 during the nearly 20 years at the HSRC, but the majority of these were either written under the name of SAPS, like the crime sections of the annual reports, or classified or both. The crime sections of the annual reports between 2001/2002 and 2010/2011 (especially 2006/2007 p.213 to 286, 2007/2008 p.1 to 43, and 2008/2009 p.1 to 31) and the report “Serious Crime in Khayelitsha and surrounding areas.” written in August 2012 as a SAPS in-house document, but which became public when it was used in the court proceedings opposing the Khayelitsha Commission, are good examples of his work during this period.
On the first of May 2013 Dr De Kock had to retire from SAPS at the age of 60. But he decided that until his health does not allow it, he will stay active as an analyst and consultant in the fields of crime, violence and crowd behaviour. Since his retirement he was very active in commenting on the two releases of crime statistics, consultancy work and especially in substantive contributions to the Commission of Inquiry into allegations of police inefficiency and a breakdown in relations between SAPS and the Community of Khayelitsha.( see: Justice C. O’ Regan and Advocate V. Pikoli. August 2014. Towards a Safer Khayelitsha.)
Chris is assisted by Cilna de Kock who holds a Hons. B.A. (Public Administration), B.Tech. (Tourism Management) and a Diploma in Project Management. She worked at the HSRC, for 38 years, as inter alia a research assistant and a senior programme manager and has extensive experience in project budgeting, questionnaire construction, fieldwork and project administration.