The South African Police Service has released the national crime statistics for 2017/18, showing which areas of the country endure the most muggings.
Under the definitions of the crime stats, a typical mugging would fall under the category of robbery with aggravating circumstances – referring to robberies where a firearm or weapon is used to threaten the victims.
Should criminals follow through and actually use these weapons against the victims, the crime then falls under assault, assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm, or in the worst case scenario, murder.
According to the SAPS’s data, cases of aggravated robbery have declined in South Africa over the past 12 months, though it remains one of the most common crimes in the country – ranked as the 5th most frequent.
In 2017/18, there were 138,364 reported aggravated robberies, down from 140,956 reported in 2016/17, representing a decline of 1.8%. Based on this, there is an average of 379 aggravated robberies taking place in South Africa every day.
As the most populous province in the country, it’s no surprise that Gauteng is where most the of these types of crimes take place, with 51,706 recorded in the province in the past year. This represents 37.4% of all robberies, or 142 happening every day in the province.
Mot of the crimes are perpetrated with the use of a firearm (60% of all reported crimes), with the second most common weapon used to threaten victims being a knife (29%). The balance is a mix of other weapons, including pangas, bottles, bricks, pipes, crowbars, screwdrivers and other sharp instruments.
|Province||Reported muggings 2018||% of total||Per day|
|Western Cape||24 329||17.6%||67|
|KwaZulu Natal||21 543||15.6%||59|
|Eastern Cape||13 485||9.7%||37|
|North West||6 825||4.9%||19|
|Free State||5 032||3.6%||14|
|Northern Cape||1 639||1.2%||4|
In terms of the worst areas, Gauteng dominates the list, with the Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal also having a fair share of problem areas.
Central Joburg is the worst place in the country for aggravated robbery, though there has been a marked decline in the number of reported crimes.
With 1,954 reported crimes, there are 5 robberies taking place every day in that precinct.
Gauteng is also notable for the high number of aggravated robberies that result from people being followed from the bank, accounting for 64% of all reported cases where this happened.
Across the 30 worst areas, about half have shown an increase in crimes, while the balance have seen things improve.
The Pinetown precinct in KwaZuluNatal has seen the biggest improvement, with a reported decline of 23.55 – while Phillipi East in the Western Cape has seen the biggest climb in aggravated robberies, with a reported 27.5% increase.
In South Africa, crimes need to be reported at the police station that is closest to where the crime took place, giving a fair indication of the crime levels in the general region the police station is found in.
It should be noted, however, that station statistics may encompass more areas than where the station is located. For example, a station in a remote area may represent the reported crimes of several neighbourhoods and small towns surrounding it, as it is the only station available to service those areas.
There are approximately 1,140 police stations in the country.
|Station||Province||Reported muggings 2018||Change from 2017|
|Johannesburg Central||Gauteng||1 954||-10.7%|
|Nyanga||Western Cape||1 646||+9.9%|
|Khayelitsha||Western Cape||1 294||-15.4%|
|Durban Central||KwaZulu Natal||1 170||+4.5%|
|Pinetown||KwaZulu Natal||1 030||-23.5%|
|Mitchells Plain||Western Cape||946||-7.1%|
|Phillipi East||Western Cape||789||+27.5%|