Lock your doors – home robberies on the rise in South Africa

 ·18 Jun 2023

The South African Police Service (SAPS) has published the latest crime statistics for the fourth quarter of 2022/23, which covers January to March 2023 – showing a notable rise in residential robbery across the country.

According to the SAPS report, contact crimes, including common robbery and robbery with aggravating circumstances, among other things, made up the biggest crime category, with 164,206 cases reported between 1 January 2023 and 31 March 2023 – increasing by 4% compared to the same period in 2022.

Put into a different context; there is one contact crime committed every 50 seconds of every day.

Contact crime refers to crimes in which the victims are the targets of violence or instances where the victims are in the vicinity of property that criminals target and are subjected to the use of/or threats of violence by perpetrators, said the SAPS.

A subcategory of contact crimes is robbery with aggravating circumstances, which includes robbery at residential premises, listed under ‘Other serious Crimes’.

The report showed that these other serious crimes increased 7.3% year-on-year, while robbery at residential premises increased by 5.9% – with 5,578 incidences reported in the first three months of 2023.

Of these 5,578 cases, two provinces accounted for the lion’s share – Gauteng (33.7%) and Kwa-Zulu Natal (26.5%).

However, those that saw the most significant increase in these robberies over the first three months of 2023 were the Northern Cape, with a 72.4% increase, the Eastern Cape (24.7%), and KZN (13.9%).

On the other end of the spectrum, the Western Cape saw a 10.8% decline in home robberies, followed by the Free State (-9%) and the North West (-6.2%).

Even more concerning is that the report showed 6,289 people were murdered over the period, equating to 70 fatalities every day.

Robberies across South Africa resulted in 345 of these murders, accounting for 5.5% of murders in the country in the first three months of the year.

South Africans no longer feel safe in their homes

As crime escalates, a recent report shows that most South Africans no longer feel safe in their homes.

This is according to the Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) ‘s latest quarterly State of Security (SoS) report, evaluating South Africans’ sentiments towards personal safety in the country.

Between March and April 2023, the AA surveyed 1,438 respondents, unveiling that most South Africans feel unsafe in their homes.

According to the data, Only 31% of South Africans feel either ‘mostly safe’ or ‘completely safe’ in the country – meaning 69% of the remaining respondents do not feel safe in South Africa. 

The findings further showed that even in their own homes, 36% of people indicated that they either feel only ‘somewhat safe’ (29%) or ‘not safe at all’ (7%). In contrast, 30% of respondents said they feel ‘safe’, 20% feel ‘very safe’, and only 14% feel ‘extremely safe’ in their homes.

Disturbingly, despite some feeling safe, the report further noted that 76% of all respondents indicated being victims of a crime over their lifetime in South Africa.

Read: These provinces have seen a big spike in hijackings in South Africa – hotspot areas and cars being targeted

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