Johannesburg - Vehicle hijackings are on the rise with the latest crime statistics, released in September, showing a 14.3 percent year-on-year increase to 14 602 (or 40 a day), and even more worrying is that the rate has surged by 55 percent in the last four years, according to the Institute for Security Studies.
But which are the areas that are most targeted? The National Hijack Prevention Academy recently compiled a list of the most targeted streets and suburbs in four of South Africa's major cities - Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban. While one should always remain vigilant, these are the places where you should be particularly alert:
- Kelvin Street / CR Swart (intersection)
- Pretoria Road / CR Swart (intersection)
- Elgin Road / Pretoria Road (intersection)
- Linksfield Road / N3 (off-ramp)
- Booysens Road / M1 (off-ramp)
- Nelson Mandela Bridge
- Wolmarans (between Claim and Nugget)
- Harrow / Saratoga (intersection)
- Harrow / Abel (intersection)
- Houghton Drive / M1 (off-ramp)
- 11th / M1 (off-ramp)
- Empire / M1 (off-ramp)
- Riviera / M1 (off-ramp)
- Jan Smuts Avenue / St Andrews (intersection)
- 1st / Pretoria Main (intersection)
- 17th Street / Krause Street (intersection)
- Heidelberg Road / N17 (off-ramp)
- Kyalami Drive
- New Road / N1 (intersection)
- Beyers Naude / N1 (off-ramp)
- 11th (Fairland Ext 6)
- Christiaan de Wet / Wilgerood (intersection)
- Rivonia / N1 (off-ramp)
- William Nicol / N1 (off-ramp)
- Midrand Road (near Clayville Residents)
- Grayston Drive (corners of Rivonia and 11th)
- Jan Smuts / William Nicol (Hyde Park split)
- Witkoppen Road (multiple intersections)
- Bramley Precinct (Wynberg, Bramley, Marlboro, Kew)
- Yeoville Precinct (Yeoville, Bellevue, Bellevue East)
- Yeoville Precinct (Yeoville,Bellevue and Bellevue East)
- Norwood Precinct (Orange Grove, Highlands)
- Sandringham Precinct (Glenhazel, Lombardy East, Sandringham)
- Parkview Precinct (areas between 10th & 11th, 4th & 7th)
- Hillbrow Precinct (Upper Houghton, Killarney)
- Rosebank Precinct (Saxonwold, Parkwood)
- Louis Botha Avenue (intersections between Alexandra and Hillbrow)
- Beyers Naude Drive / Paul Kruger Street (intersection)
- R55 (Erasmia)
- Garsfontein Road
- Delphi Avenue
- Burnett Street
- Stormvoel road
- Watermeyer Street
- Nelson Mandela Drive
- Lynwood Road / N1 (on-ramp)
- Lynwood Road / Simon Vermooten (intersection)
- Lynwood Road / Hans Strijdom (intersection)
- Walker Street
- Duncan Street
- University Road / Lynwood Road (intersection)
- Rigel Avenue / N1 (off-ramp)
- Simon Vermooten Road / Pretoria Street (intersection)
- Simon Vermooten Road / Farrow Street (intersection)
- Hans Strydom / N4 (off-ramp)
- Hans Strijdom / R21 (intersection)
- Atterbury / N1 (off-ramp)
- Pretorius Street (multiple intersections)
- Schoeman Street / Duncan (intersection)
- Schoeman Street / Hilda (intersection)
- Schoeman Street / Grosvenor (intersection)
- Alice Street (near Voortrekker Road)
- Voortrekker Road (between Bellville and Parow)
- Military Road / Prince George Drive (intersection)
- St Stephens Road
- Alice Street (around Voortrekker Road)
- Station Road
- Klipfontein Road
- Prestwich Road / Ebenhezer (intersection)
- Vangaurd Drive
- R300 (under bridges towards N1)
- Alpine Road
- West Street
- Warwick Avenue / Smith Street (intersection)
Interactive map by Arrive Alive:
GAUTENG STILL THE CRIME CAPITAL
Though Gauteng evidently remains the country's hijacking capital, with a whopping 7367 recorded in the previous year, the Western Cape recently experienced a 32 percent surge, from from 1530 in 2014/15 to 2032 in 2015/16.
As for the rest of the country, the Northern Cape experienced a 213.3 percent surge in the crime, albeit from an extremely low base of 15 hijackings in 2014/15 to 47 in 2015/16.
Next up was the North West Province, where hijackings were up 33.1 percent from 278 in 2014/15 to 370 in 2015/16. Limpopo was up 30.4 percent (345 to 450), the Eastern Cape 24.3 percent (769 to 956) and Mpumalanga 23.6 percent (509 to 629).
The only province that saw a decrease in hijackings was the Free State, down 4.4 percent to 258, from 270 the previous year.
HOW TO AVOID A HIJACKING
- Always travel with the car doors locked.
- Leave enough room between your car and the one in front to avoid being boxed in. Make sure you can see where the tyres of the car in front make contact with the road.
- Attract the attention of other motorists or pedestrians if you think you are in danger. You can use the hooter, flash your lights, put your emergency lights on or shout.
- Be aware of anybody who approaches your car or is loitering near traffic lights, stop streets, parking areas or your driveway.
- If you suspect that you are being followed, you should ideally drive to the nearest police station. If this is not possible, drive to a safe place, but don't go home.
- Don't enter your garage or a parking area if you believe you are being followed. Drive to the nearest police station.
- Don't stop if, for example, a passer-by indicates that your car has a flat tyre or other defect. Drive to the nearest service station or safe area and check it there.
- Don't tell strangers your movements or plans.
- Don't pick up hitchhikers or unknown people.
- Don't leave your car door open and the engine running while opening your garage door or gates. Criminals act quicker than you would expect.
Sources: SAPS, Arrive Alive, National Hijack Prevention Academy