The South African Police Services (SAPS) has released its crime statistics for 2018/2019.
A total of 2.01 million crimes were recorded in 2019 – down from the 2.09 million recorded in 2018. This represents a 1% increase in the number of reported crimes in the 17 public categories, along with a massive 22% decline in the number of crimes as a result of police action.
One of the key concerns is a rise in the number of hijacking cases. Following a low-point in 2011/2012, the data shows that carjacking (9,417 reported incidents) has steadily increased across the country, with 16,026 reported incidents over the 2018/2019 reporting period.
Most of these incidents occur in Gauteng (7,776), followed by KZN (2,764) and the Western Cape (2,294).
Despite the high rate of hijacking across Gauteng, the report shows that Nyanga in the Western Cape had the most reported incidents (273) compared to any other precinct.
More incidences of carjacking occur in townships and within the inner-city than in any other area.
When looking at the types of cars being hijacked, the statistics show that sedans and hatchbacks are still the most popular targets for criminals (10,875 hijackings).
This is followed by bakkies (4,274), trucks (1,124) and micro-buses (480).
When looking at the brands most targeted by hijackers, Toyota comes out top (5,253), followed by Volkswagen (2,877) and Nissan (1,303).
However, it should be noted that this likely due to the popularity of these types of cars on South Africa’s roads.
These hijackers typically use a firearm when hijacking a motorist (14,381 cases), however, there have also been cases where an attacker used their hands (1,088 cases) or a blunt instrument (1,104).
When gaining control of the vehicle hijackers mostly point or threaten with their weapon (12,857 reported cases), grabbing the victim (2,794 cases) or shooting the driver (368 cases), the SAPS said.