Housebreaking is the number one crime in SA

January 3, 2020
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According to StatsSA, there were about 1,3 million incidences of housebreaking affecting 5,8% of households in South Africa in 2018/2019. Interestingly, males appear to be more at risk of most crimes, a fact in contradiction to perceptions.

Housebreaking

The most likely victims of housebreaking were male-headed households, households in metros, Indian/Asian households followed by white households, very low and very high-income households, and households in Northern Cape, Gauteng, and KwaZulu-Natal. Approximately 48% of affected households reported incidences to the police.

There were about 260 000 incidences of home robberies, affecting roughly 1% of all households in South Africa. The most likely victims of home robbery were households in metros, white-headed households and households headed by young people. The most common weapons used in home robbery were guns (54%) and knives (47%). Around 60% of households reported one or more incidences of home robbery to the police. The number of households that reported incidences of home robbery is about 120 000.

Vehicle theft

An estimated 83 000 incidences of theft of motor vehicles took place, affecting 0,4% of South African households. The most likely victims of motor vehicle theft were male-headed households, households in metros, white-headed compared to black African households, young adult households compared to households headed by the elderly, and high-income households. About 86% (an estimated 63 000) households that experienced theft of motor vehicles reported this to the police.

Murder

An estimated 12 000 murders were committed over the same period, affecting about 0,07% of households in South Africa. All affected households reported incidences of murder to the police. According to SAPS data, there were 32 000 murders during the same period. The main reason for the huge gap between GPSJS estimates of murder and SAPS statistics is that GPSJS estimates are based on murders that are known to households. The SAPS handles murders that may not be known to households such as murders of homeless people, immigrants, temporary visitors, and gang-related murders.

Theft of personal property

In 2018/19 there were about 1,2 million incidences of theft of personal property affecting 2,5% of people aged 16 or older in South Africa. The most likely victims of this crime were males, white, the young, and people living in Western Cape and Gauteng. The GPSJS estimates of the number of victims who reported these incidences to the police is in agreement with SAPS data.

The perception of safety by people who live in South African is vital. The report indicates that the percentage of people who felt safe walking alone in their areas during the day increased from 79% in 2017/18 to 83% in 2018/19. Those who felt safe walking alone in their areas during the night increased from 29% in 2017/18 to 35% in 2018/19. Males felt safer than females during the day and at night, and those in rural areas (24%) felt safer than those in urban areas (15%) and metros (8%) during the day. About 45% of people in metros felt unsafe at night compared to urban (42%) and rural people (39%).

For more information, download the full report here.

*Parts extracted from StatsSA

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