Johannesburg - If you don’t report a crime, you not only risk losing an insurance claim, you are failing your duty as a South African citizen.

This is the message from an insurance company who said 1.7 million crimes committed in South Africa go unreported to police, according to a survey.

However, criminologist Dr Jackie de Wet has warned that although there is a proven phenomenon of underreporting crimes, it is difficult to determine whether this figure is accurate.

Insurance company Dial Direct warned that most insurers won’t pay out a claim if the crime was not reported within 48 hours.

They referred to a report based on a survey from the Institute for Race Relations which said that 1.7 million crimes - including 82 000 house robberies and 8 000 hijackings - went unreported in 2011 while 3.3 million were officially recorded.

John October of Dial Direct urged victims to report crimes.

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The Star