Bryte Insurance has released its latest Crime Tracker for Q2 2018.
Crime Tracker data is captured over the period April – June 2018, and measures crime-related claims (due to hijacking, robbery, theft and malicious damage) committed against South African businesses.
The data extends to just over two-years and is based on percentage growth or decline in crime-related claims.
The report found that crime levels have continued to rise quarter on quarter since Q2 2017.
The tracker indicates a substantial peak in the total incidents of crime perpetrated against businesses in Q2 2018, up 13.51%, compared to the same period in 2017 where it declined 7.73%.
Hijack/Theft by force (contact crime)
Hijacking/theft by force crimes climbed 6.8%, which is in stark contrast to Q2 2016, where levels of hijacking/theft declined by 16.8%.
Hijacking continues to be a major concern for motorists, said Bryte. The South African Police Service crime statistics (covering April 2017 – March 2018) noted more than 17,527 hijackings – averaging 453 incidents per day.
This is a fair indication of the general hijacking trend and as this number continues to escalate, so too does the violent nature of crimes committed, Bryte said.
Reports from Tracker have stated that every month, approximately 18 hijacking victims are assaulted.
“Violent behaviour by criminals during hijackings and theft has intensified due to many factors including the use of drugs and alcohol. Substance abuse can desensitise criminals and fuel frustration and hostility,” said chief claims officer at Bryte, Cloud Saungweme.
“Additionally, drug abusers are more likely to resort to other forms of theft in order to support their drug habits,” he said.
“Motorists should take note of prominent hijacking hotspots and remain on high alert when passing through these areas.
“Some precautions that may be taken to mitigate against the risk of hijackings would be to ensure that windows are closed, all doors are locked and any distractions are avoided – especially the use of cell phones. We also propose that that handbags, laptops etc. are locked in the boot.”
Incidents of theft have risen consistently over the past four quarters reaching an all-time high in Q2 2018.
The South African Police Service crime statistics further denotes a 7.2% increase in the theft of stock, however, petty crime such as shoplifting and theft out of motor vehicles is reported to have decreased by more than 6% during this period.
“The element of surprise is a critical component of successful criminal activities and an emerging trend in this regard is that of fake policing,” said Saungweme.
“With police officers commanding a great deal of respect among citizens, criminals are taking advantage of this by impersonating them. They are luring citizens into submission thus, making it easier to rob them or access restricted areas and successfully commit crimes.”
Incidents of malicious damage have remained considerably high over the past two quarters – the Q2 2018 Bryte Crime Tracker noted an acceleration of 20.8% versus a contraction of 15% during the same period in 2017.
“More businesses are installing effective security equipment to protect their premises such as heavy-duty fencing, security doors and shatterproof windows, making it increasingly difficult for criminals to gain access,” said Saungweme.
“This has led to more damage to properties as offenders attempt to gain access. Business owners are thus advised to continue conducting security upgrades and assess their risk exposure frequently to ensure that they have sufficient insurance cover in the unfortunate event that they become victims of crime.”