These are the most feared crimes in South Africa

Stats SA has released its latest Victims of Crime survey, showing which crimes South Africans are most afraid of falling victim to in the country.

The latest survey looks at private households from all nine provinces in South Africa, and provides information about the dynamics of crime from the perspective of these households and victims of crime.

As part of the survey, households and individuals were asked which crimes they believe are the most common – and which crimes they are most afraid of becoming victims of in the country.

This data, along with the crime statistics released by the SAPS in 2016, allows for a deeper analysis of the lines between the perceived threat of a crime and the reality of the situation in South Africa.

For example, the Stats SA data shows that South Africans believe that murder is as common as pick-pocketing (the 7th most common crime) – but it is the fourth most feared crime in the country.

According to the 2016 crime stats, the reality is that murder is the 19th most common crime (out of 27 categories) – and far less common than robbery.

There are instances where the perception matches reality, spot on, however.

South Africans believe that house burglary is the most common crime in the country, and also fear that type of crime the most.

This is with good reason, as burglary at residential premises is the second most common crime in the country, after drug related crimes, according to the statistics.

These are the 10 crimes South Africans perceive to be the most common in SA:

# Crime % Perceived
1 Housebreaking / Burglary 58.8%
2 Street Robbery 41.5%
3 Home Robbery 38.5%
4 Assault 19.4%
5 Business Robbery 17.9%
6 Pick-pocketing or bag-snatching 17.9%
7 Murder 15.9%
8 Livestock / Poultry theft 10.9%
9 Car theft or any type of vehicle 10.4%
10 Vehicle hijacking 10.2%

These are the crimes South Africans fear the most:

# Crime % Feared
1 Housebreaking / Burglary 49.2%
2 Home Robbery 45.5%
3 Street Robbery 41.9%
4 Murder 35.7%
5 Assault 21.5%
6 Pick-pocketing / Bag-snatching 17.2%
7 Business Robbery 15.8%
8 Vehicle hijacking 15.0%
9 Car theft or any type of vehicle 12.8%
10 Child Abuse 10.9%

This is how the perception and fear of crimes in South Africa correspond to the reality as presented by the crime stats:

Read: How crime is killing small business in South Africa

Latest news

Partner Content

Show comments

Follow us


These are the most feared crimes in South Africa