Tshwane Metro Police arrested three suspects in connection with house robbery, position of two firearms, hijack and attempted murder. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)
Tshwane Metro Police arrested three suspects in connection with house robbery, position of two firearms, hijack and attempted murder. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)

KZN households experience the most house breaking incidents

By Karen Singh Time of article published Dec 3, 2020

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Durban - The latest Victims of Crime (VoC) survey by Statistics SA (Stats SA) has revealed that the highest proportion of households that experienced housebreakings were in KwaZulu-Natal.

Stats SA released the report, which contains a selection of key findings from the 2019/20 Governance, Public Safety and Justice Survey from April 2019 to March, earlier this week.

The countrywide household-based survey focuses on the perceptions and experiences of crime of people aged 16 and older, and consists of data collected from private households in all nine provinces and workers’ hostels.

The survey found that the highest proportion of households that experienced housebreaking were in KwaZulu-Natal – with 335 incidents –and Limpopo had the least.

The highest proportion of households that experienced house robberies were in Gauteng, Northern Cape and Mpumalanga.

The survey showed that housebreaking/burglary had consistently been the most common crime experienced by households in South Africa. The number of households across the country that experienced this crime had increased over the years from 2.1 million in 2015/16 to 2.3 million in 2019/20.

The second most common crime experienced by households was house robbery. But house robberies declined over the years from 506 000 in 2015/16 to 415 000 in 2019/20.

Nationally, the number of people who experienced theft of personal property was 902 000 while 451 000 experienced robbery, 384 000 consumer fraud, 224 000 assault, 85 000 hijacking of motor vehicles and 31 000 experienced sexual offences.

Stats SA said one of the goals of the National Development Plan (NDP) was for South Africans to feel safe in their homes and neighbourhoods.

“Perception of safety is considered a subjective well-being indicator. It affects the way in which a human being interacts with its surroundings, its health and as a consequence, its quality of life.”

On a positive note, nationally there was a significant increase in the numbers of people who said they felt safe walking alone in their neighbourhoods at night, from about 30% in 2015/16 to more than 41% in 2019/20. About 87% of the population felt safe walking alone in their neighbourhood during the day. Both figures increased from 2018/19.

Men in general felt safer walking alone in their neighbourhood than women. Similarly, rural residents had a greater feeling of safety walking alone in their areas when it was dark than residents in urban areas.

Theft of personal property was the most common type of crime experienced and street or common robbery was the second.

The least common crime was sexual offences, however it was noted that the sexual offences sample was small.

As the number of people who were hijacked increased from 32 000 to 85 000, the survey found that the number of incidents reported to the police decreased.

Regarding the differences between the statistics in the survey and those released by the police, Stats SA said victimisation surveys were likely to produce higher crime estimates than police-recorded administrative data.

“This is due to the fact that many crimes are not reported to the police. Victim surveys deal with incidents which may not necessarily match the legal definition of crime.

“Although data from crime victim surveys are likely to elicit better disclosure of criminal incidents than data from police records, they can also be subject to undercounting, as some victims may be reluctant to disclose information, particularly for incidents of a sensitive nature, such as sexual offences.”

BOX

Other KwaZulu-Natal stats from the VoC survey by StatsSA in the 2019/20 period:

– The survey revealed that over 95% of residents know their neighbours by name.

– About 90% of residents would ask any of their next-door neighbours to watch their house if they were going away.

– Just over 87% of residents trust their neighbours to look after their children.

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