The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) has warned that criminal activity is set to increase in the country due to increased load shedding.
Speaking to the SABC, the institute’s Dr Johan Burger said house and business robberies are already increasing, and there are fears that the same will happen with other criminal activities.
“Load shedding is just another opportunity which criminals are already exploiting, and they will continue to exploit. We will see a rise in crime such as burglary and other crimes such as house and business robbery. They will be able to follow load shedding schedules.”
Security experts have also warned citizens to expect increased crime in the coming months due to relaxed Covid-19 lockdown restrictions and a busy festive season.
A research assistant at the UCT Centre of Criminology, Annie Kok, said that the number of criminal incidents increased by more than 50% in Q3 and Q4 2020, following a similar easing in restrictions.
Kok said that the only way this can be combatted is through sophisticated intelligence, actionable strategies and coordination of all stakeholders.
Fidelity Services Group chief executive Whal Bartmann said that the company is preparing for increasing incidents, including additional backup forces and air support.
South Africa reported a shock increase in crime statistics in Q1 2021/2022, with a significant increase in cases reported across several crime categories.
Police minister Bheki Cele said that the double-digit increase in most crime categories was attributable to the adjusted lockdown levels and distorted crime trends.
The police minister said that while the country had seen a ‘holiday from crime’ during the higher level 5, 4 and 3 lockdowns, the move to lighter restrictions had led to ‘exaggeratedly high’ crime levels.
“While we will not sweep the high and unnatural figures under the carpet, we will instead bring to the fore a holistic picture of comparing the 2021/2022 Q1 crime figures to a ‘normal period’ two years ago where there was no lockdown.”