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THE LATEST CRIME STATISTICS IN SOUTH AFRICA


OOn Friday, the 3rd of June 2022, South Africa's police minister, Bheki Cele, presented the fourth quarter crime statistics. The first three months of this year were described as "violent, brutal and unsafe" for many South Africans, especially women and children. The latest crime statistics from 1 January to the end of March 2022 revealed a disturbing picture of the first three months of the year, leaving South Africans to wonder what the rest of the year may hold?


We look at what the latest crime stats uncover and how we can best protect ourselves from becoming a figure in the stats roll.


MURDER, ATTEMPTED MURDER, AND ASSAULT GBH


"Murder, attempted murder, and assault GBH of women all recorded double-digit increases. Murder and assault GBH of children under the age of 17 also recorded sharp increases," Cele reported. He said the first three months of 2022 were married by more murders, sexual violence, and assaults compared to the same period in 2021.

According to the crime statistics, there was a 22.2% increase in murder, with 1 107 more people killed between January and March when compared to the same period in 2021.


A total of 2 268 people were murdered in public places, including open fields, streets, parking areas, and abandoned buildings.

"The second most likely place for murder to occur is at the victim's home or of the perpetrator; in that environment, 1 350 people were killed. Liquor outlets and public transport, such as buses, taxis or trains, were the third and fourth most likely places to be killed in South Africa," Cele said.


He further added that sexual offences recorded a 13.7% increase, with contact sexual offences the only decrease in this category.

"In the first three months of this year, 10 818 people were raped in South Africa. Almost half of the cases, a staggering 4 653 rapes took place at the home of the rape victim or the home of the rapist," he said.


The Eastern Cape's Lusikisiki police station, Inanda in KwaZulu-Natal, and Delft in the Western Cape recorded the highest incidents of rape for this quarter. They also recorded the highest incident rates in the last quarter of 2021:

Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape continues to be the rape capital of the country. There were 92 rapes recorded between October and December 2021 in the small Eastern Cape town, an increase of 21 from the same period the previous year. (source: mg.co.za)

Umlazi in KwaZulu-Natal remains in second place for the number of rapes, with 85 rapes recorded between October and December 2021, an increase of 16 from the same period in the previous year.


DON'T BECOME A VICTIM OF VIOLENT CRIME

Below are some helpful personal safety tips to avoid becoming a victim of crime in SA:

Be crime conscious - be aware of crime opportunities at all times!

  • Never walk around alone and don't talk to strangers. Be on the lookout for strange cars or people.

  • Walk in well-lit, busy streets and in a group, if possible.

  • Avoid shortcuts, bushy areas, and alleyways.

  • Make sure your home is secure, and become a member of an armed response service. Be sure that you know all the emergency numbers or have them displayed in an accessible area.

  • Always let someone know where you are going and how long you will be gone. But think twice before advertising your impending absence on social media. Criminals also have access to Facebook and Twitter.

  • Know all emergency numbers.

  • Trust your instinct.

  • Avoid displaying valuables where criminals can see them.

  • Walk assertively and maintain a sharp awareness of your surroundings.

  • If you sense you are being followed, immediately cross to the opposite side of the street and head for the nearest open business or occupied dwelling.

  • When seeking help from the occupant of a residence, yell fire as opposed to help, rape, or murder, and use any means necessary to draw attention to the situation.

  • Never automatically open your door without knowing who is on the other side. Talk through the door.

  • Instruct your children in safe door and telephone techniques.

  • Ask for identification from service people. If still not satisfied, call the business and verify that the visit is a legitimate one.

  • Park in well-lit, well-populated areas.

  • If your car breaks down, raise the hood and turn on the emergency flashers. Remain in your locked car until help arrives. If someone stops to offer assistance, ask them to send a tow truck or contact local law enforcement. Talk through the window.

  • If you are being followed, don't turn into your own driveway; instead, head for the nearest populated area or open business.

  • Keep someone apprised of your whereabouts when dating a man for the first time.

  • It is a good idea to refrain from going to bars and clubs alone. However, should you choose to do so, have your own transportation available, and use it.

  • Don't allow alcohol or drugs to cloud your common sense.

  • Know what your personal social standards are and stick to them. Don't allow your judgment to be overruled by an aggressive pursuer.

SELF-DEFENSE – PASSIVE OR ACTIVE

For years a certain amount of controversy has surrounded the issue of whether or not a woman should resist a sexual assault. Studies support points of view ranging from strong resistance to total submission. There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to self-defense. Ultimately, the decision rests with the individual and should be based on considerations such as the location (isolated vs. populated), whether or not a weapon is involved, the victim's physical capabilities, and the perceived chance of success.


PASSIVE SELF-DEFENSE

  • Talking your way out of a situation.

  • Telling the rapist you're pregnant, menstruating, or afflicted with a communicable disease can be an effective ploy.

  • Faking submission and waiting for an appropriate opportunity to make an escape.

  • Urinating, defecating, or vomiting.

  • NOTE: Initiating a passive defense may not work in all situations. If it fails, you can then escalate to an active defense.

ACTIVE SELF-DEFENSE

  • If you choose to fight, fight effectively. A half-hearted attempt at resistance could be worse than no resistance at all.

  • Before initiating a physical defense, you should be aware of your capabilities - both physical and mental. If you cannot imagine yourself exerting whatever force necessary to ward off an attacker, then perhaps a more passive approach is more viable for you.

  • Have some idea of what you intend to do should you be attacked. If you have given prior thought to the matter, you will be better prepared to avoid debilitating panic.

  • Self-defense classes aimed at teaching everyday defensive maneuvers can help build confidence.

  • Don't underestimate the power of your voice as an effective defensive tool. If you feel your voice may fail you when you need it most, practice screaming.

VEHICLE HIJACKINGS

South Africa's crime statistics for the last quarter show another steep increase in hijackings across the country. A total of 5,402 hijackings were reported across the country over the period – a 19.7% (889) increase from the 4,513 hijackings reported over the same period in 2021.


Annual data showed that a vehicle is hijacked every 30 minutes in South Africa.

Most hijackings took place in the following locations:

  • Gauteng (2,936)

  • KwaZulu-Natal (876)

  • Western Cape (581)

  • Mamelodi East in Gauteng (98)

  • Harare in the Western Cape (87)

  • Phillipi East in the Western Cape (64).

The jump in hijackings was flagged by security company Fidelity SecureDrive at the end of May, with the group noting the specific vehicles that were targeted.

The most popular reported times for hijacking incidents were:

  • Between 06h00-09h00 and 18h00-24h00 during peak traffic times

  • When there is low visibility at night.

  • Most hijackings take place on Thursdays and Fridays.

Fidelity's data shows hijackers most often targeted Toyota and Volkswagen vehicles, with targeted models including:

  • Toyota Hilux

  • Volkswagen Polo

  • Toyota Quantum

  • Nissan NP200

The data shows white vehicles are disproportionately targeted (48.9%). This was also the case for silver-grey vehicles (18.9%).

Fidelity also noted that white or silver-grey vehicles are the most hijacked in the country.

LATEST HIJACKING TRENDS (GAUTENG)

Security and police officials have warned of a disturbing increase in the number of car and truck hijackings in and around Gauteng, with an increasing number of incidents being perpetrated by fake police officials.

The trend sees groups of between two and five suspects who dress in traffic police uniforms and use a blue light mounted on the dashboard of their vehicle. Victims who believe they are dealing with genuine police officers are held up against their will and dropped off in different areas around Gauteng.


South African Police Service (SAPS) officials indicated that a white Toyota Hilux double cab and/or a white VW Polo are the vehicles that are typically used to trap motorists, with most incidents reported in the following areas:

  • Bekkersdal – R28 road and N12

  • Carletonville – Blybank road & Randfontein road

  • Fochville – Corner N12 and R500.

  • Randfontein – R559 – R28 and N14

Security group Fidelity has advised motorists not to stop if they suspect that the person might be a bogus policeman. Instead, motorists should drive to the nearest police station, shopping complex, or other busy areas.

HIJACKING PREVENTION TIPS

Fidelity has partnered with the National Hijack Prevention Academy to offer drivers the following safety hints and tips:

  • If you suspect you are being followed, put your indicator on and slow down at least two to three houses before your home. If you are being followed, you will force the vehicle behind you to pass, and this could cause the criminals to lose interest.

  • If you need to stop in your driveway to open the gate manually, always leave the key in the ignition and the motor running unless you have a child in the car. Only then should you take the key with you as you open the gate. The key is a valuable negotiating tool – they want your car, and you want your child.

  • Always make sure you can see the car's back wheels in front of you when you stop in the traffic. This gives you enough room to manoeuvre and escape.

  • If you stay in a secure complex with security guards, do not be fooled into thinking you are safe. You can easily be followed into your complex, so always remain vigilant. Research shows that most people relax the closer they get to home, and this is often when they are most vulnerable.

Other tips provided by the group include:

  • Do not stop at a deserted spot or area to talk on your phone or even relieve yourself;

  • Always keep your windows closed;

  • If someone tries to force you out of the road, don't panic but just blow your hooter constantly to draw attention;

  • Do not stop for hitchhikers, even if it is a female hiker with a crying baby.

Source: Businesstech

HOUSE AND BUSINESS ROBBERIES

According to the latest stats, all property-related crimes increased by 0.1%, and burglary at non-residential premises declined by 6.4%.

UNISA's School of Criminal Justice conducted research into understanding and preventing house robbery in South Africa. Based on in-depth interviews with convicted robbers, this is what they found:


• 8 out of 10 residential robberies are committed with the help of information from housekeepers, gardeners, and former employees.

• Robbers will monitor the home for as long as two weeks.

• Most attacks occur between 19:00 and midnight as people are relaxed, sleeping, cooking, or watching TV, and the security systems and beams are not activated. Robberies can continue until 04:00.

• 97% of robbers are armed.

• On average, an armed robbery gang has four members.

• The average age of a house robber is 19 to 26.

• An average of 30% of all house robbers have either committed murder, or won't hesitate to commit murder.

• Only 17% of house robbers are foreigners.

• Of all arrested robbers, 90% had no matric qualification or were unemployed. The 10% who had been employed gave up their jobs when confirming how much they could 'earn' from a robbery.

• Most victims or targets are affluent persons who openly display their wealth, for example, wearing expensive jewellery.

• The average robber commits 103 robberies over seven years before getting caught.

• Most attackers' homes or 'bases' are a 10 to 30-minute drive from the target address.

• The conviction rate for house robberies in South Africa is only 7.67%. In the USA it is 53%.

• Alarms and armed reaction services do not deter robbers.

These security measures are a major deterrent to crime:

• Electric fences

• Detection beams

• Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)

• Small dogs that sleep inside the house (robbers consider this to be the biggest deterrent of all.)

• In the words of Dr. Rudolph Zinn from his book Home Invasion - "They scout a neighbourhood to see how tight the security is. A patrol or neighbourhood watch factors in 68% on whether they go in or not, so having a good neighbourhood watch in the area can be a major deterrent."


Before you leave your house:

• Make sure all shrubs and trees are trimmed back so that they do not allow a burglar to conceal himself while attempting to open a window or door. If possible, plant bushes with prickly thorns around these locations.

• Don't stop your security awareness at the outside walls of your house. Your yard areas (if any) also deserve attention. In general, don't leave anything around the yard that might help a burglar get into your house. Ladders, stackable boxes, or any garden tools should be put away, preferably in a locked cabinet. Many burglars have used the property owner's own tools to break into a home.

• Don't place outdoor furniture tables nearby the house, as these could become an easy stepladder to the roof. Rather move them inside in the evening.

• Second-story windows are often left unsecured, making it easy for the criminal to get into the house. To discourage potential climbers, spread grease on any metal drainpipes if they are close to windows. Use Vaseline or clear automotive grease, depending on the colour of the pipe (or replace it with plastic pipe).

• A barking dog, changing your daily routine, and the presence of CCTV cameras could make your home a less attractive target to criminals.

• Make sure your post office box is always empty. A full post box makes it seem like you are never home.

• Since robbers can watch your movements for as long as two weeks, try to deviate from your usual routine regularly. Leave and return home at different times, use different routes and visit different shops to what you typically do.

• Take extreme care when hiring domestic workers and other service providers cannot be underestimated. Be careful who you let into your home.

HAVE A SAFETY NET WITH INSURANCE

There is no telling if you may become the next victim of crime in South Africa. However, preparation for such an instance is essential, so cover your assets with insurance. The ordeal is traumatic enough for a person and their family; having short-term insurance will help give you peace of mind that your assets are covered in the event of loss or damage. Take the time to review your insurance policies and even your life cover. Ensure you are adequately covered in the event of a claim and review your policies annually to make sure they are always up to date.


If you are uncertain about the cover of your current insurance policy or need to take out insurance cover, then contact Wallstreet Financial Services today.

Wallstreet Financial Services is an authorized short-term personal and commercial lines provider working with most short-term insurance companies. With us, you don't need to change your insurance provider necessarily. We are brokers, and because we work with multiple insurance companies, we can go over your current short-term insurance arrangements and assist you where necessary.

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