Stats South Africa has published its latest Victims of Crime Survey, showing which crimes are most prominent in South Africa, and how individuals have been affected by them.
The 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.
According to the report, aggregate crime levels increased in 2017/18 compared to 2016/17, where it is estimated that over 1.5 million incidences of household crime occurred in South Africa in 2017/18, which constitutes an increase of 5% compared to the previous year.
Incidences of crime on individuals are estimated to be over 1.6 million, which is an increase of 5% from the previous year.
Aggregate household crime levels increased in Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, North West, Gauteng and Mpumalanga. Individual crime levels increased in Free State, North West and Gauteng.
North West experienced a drastic increase of 80% in the individual crime level. More provinces experienced an increase in household and individual crime levels if comparisons were done using proportions instead of absolute numbers.
By far, housebreaking or burglary continued to be the dominant type of crime in 2017/18, accounting for 54% of all household crimes surveyed in the survey.
An estimated 832,122 incidences of housebreaking occurred, which is a 7% increase compared to the previous year. An estimated 156,089 incidences of home robbery occurred, constituting an increase of 3% from last year.
Looking at the items that criminals go for when robbing homes, the top-stolen items are usually clothing, followed by mobile phones.
Next on the list is food, electronics like laptops, money, and then personal effects (like watches).
Bicycles were the least likely items to be stolen during housebreaking. It is estimated that 1.9% of households lost bicycles during burglary.
Things most likely to be stolen in a housebreaking
In terms of individual crime, theft of personal items is also the most common type of crime in the country, mostly occurring while victims are on walkabout in residential areas.
Mobile phones are the most likely thing to be stolen, followed by wallets or any money. Bank cards are also targeted.