Crime Stats: Concern as car hijackings hit 5-year high for Q4

By Sihle Mlambo Time of article published May 14, 2021

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Johannesburg - The crime statistics for the fourth quarter of the 2020/21 year show that car hijackings reached a five-year high between January and March.

Over 4 513 cars were hijacked during the period, the most in the past five years in the same period. This accounts for a 4.9% increase.

Crime stats show that in 2017 - 3 993 cars were hijacked in the same period, compared with 3 828 in 2018, 3 883 in 2019 and 4 303 in 2020.

In comparison, truck hijackings also saw a 24.6% marked increase between 2021 and 2020 in the same period, with cases jumping from 284 in 2020 to 354 in 2021.

House robberies also increased by 7.6%, with cases increasing from 4 916 in 2020 to 5 288 in 2021 for the final quarter.

Cash-in-transit heists saw a 10% decline, with reported cases decreasing from 47 in the fourth quarter of 2020 to 42 in 2021.

The Gauteng province had 19 of the top 30 car hijacking hotspots in the country, with the Western Cape’s Nyanga police station recording the most hijacking cases during the fourth quarter - with 107 hijackings between January and March 2021.

The second station, Loathe, in Gauteng, had 57 hijackings in the same period, followed by Umlazi in KZN with 56, Harare in the Western Cape with 55 and Gauteng’s Tembisa wrapping up the top five with 54.

Wrapping up the top 10, Western Cape’s Delft, Gauteng’s Olievenhoutbosch, Western Cape’s Philippi East, Gauteng’s Sandringham and KZN’s Mariannhill were the other areas with the most hijackings.

The police also said that most hijacking incidents took place in the township, with more than 37% of all incidents or 1 689 hijackings committed in townships.

In the suburbs, more than 1 215 hijackings took place in the area, meaning hijackings in the suburbs accounted for 26.9% of all hijackings in the period in question.

Other data from the police showed that 10% of hijackings took place in rural areas, another 5% of all hijackings took place in the inner city, 3.2% of hijackings took place in industrial areas, 1.8% of hijackings took place in farms and 1.7% of hijackings took place in squatter camps or informal settlements.

In terms of the types of vehicles most frequently hijacked, sedans and hatchbacks were the most hijacked - with 2 122 cars hijacked, 1 225 bakkies and panel vans, 274 SUVs, 241 minibus taxis, 106 under-3-ton trucks and 40 motorcycles.

Commenting during the release of the crime statistics in Pretoria, Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole said crime intelligence and the JCPS cluster were intensifying efforts to work together in order to solve crime.

He said the police had noted that there had been a modus operandi shift from criminals in terms of crimes in which police had clamped down hard on in previous years.

He said police were working on coming up with solutions.

Police Minister Bheki Cele expressed concern on the murder trend and called on communities to work with the police.

“We call on the communities to assist us in dealing with these issues. What will help is if those people are found and sent to prison,” he said.

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