Robbery, hijacking and break-in crime trends in South Africa in 2018

Security company Fidelity ADT has released its latest crime trends based on its security data collected over the course of 2017.

The security company is currently the biggest in South Africa with more than 370,000 customers, over 30% of market share in the country, and over 10% geographical coverage.

Speaking to BusinessTech on Wednesday (21 February), national subscriber sales manager at Fidelity ADT, Rob Dale, said that despite its size and coverage, Fidelity ADT’s security and crime trends tend to differ from national SAPS data because its clients are typically middle- or upper-income home owners in the 7-10 LSM range.

“The SAPS have their own challenges and difficulties and understandably send their resources to the highest crime areas – which are typically lower-income,” he said.

“This opens up space for the private security industry in South Africa, who are more present in higher-income areas, and where you will typically find the taxpayer.”

However, Dale said that the Fidelity ADT was still heavily reliant on the SAPS and considered them strong partners. This is especially true because the security company is only contracted with a right to operate on specific properties.

“We theoretically have no mandate in the public space. What we can do, is act as eyes and ears to help alert the authorities, and act as a visible deterrent – but we can’t stop or search any individual.

“However, because of the security company’s sheer size, it is still able to detect some meaningful crime trends based on its data,” he said.


Averages per month

Fidelity ADT said that it typically receives around 16,000 alarm notifications a day, of which it responds to around 6,000.

This rather large deficit is primarily due to false alarms – however, even after responding to a notification it may still be the case that someone failed to answer their phone or accidentally triggered a system.

The following monthly averages of crime alerts do not include false alarms:

  • Armed Robbery – 98
  • Robbery – 15
  • House Breaking and theft – 426
  • Hijacking – 7
  • Shooting – 4

Based on this data, Fidelity ADT broke down four further crime trends it has noticed popping up across its network:

  1. All categories of crime typically increase from Wednesday through to Sunday, with Mondays and Tuesdays being quieter.
  2. Armed robberies are most common between noon and midnight (with a slight peak between 12:00 and 18:00).
  3. House break-ins and theft are most common from midnight to noon (although this slightly skewed as residents sometimes only notice a break-in in the morning and as a result typically report the crime after it has occurred).
  4. Hijackings and common theft peak in the early morning and again in the early evening.


Regional incidents

Fidelity ADT also broke down its crime trends into serious and ‘other’ incidents, based on regional data.

Serious incidents are all incidents where a weapon is involved, including armed robbery, hijacking and shootings.

Of note, Fidelity ADT found that, while the total number of incidents were more or less the same across Gauteng and the Western Cape, there was a clear difference in the number of serious incidents between the two provinces.

You can find the breakdown of this regional data below.

‘North’ refers to Nothern Gauteng (ie Pretoria and surrounds), while ‘Central’ refers to Johannesburg and the surrounds.


Read: Important tips you need to know to avoid being a smash and grab victim in SA

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Robbery, hijacking and break-in crime trends in South Africa in 2018