A survey conducted by Statistics South Africa, and released last week, has listed the crimes to which South Africans are most afraid to fall victim.
The Victims of Crime Survey for 2014/2015 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.
Looking at the crime data released by the SAPS in September, the most common reported crime in the country – excluding drug-related offenses – is burglary at residential premises, which saw just under 254,000 cases opened in 2014/15.
The survey data shows that South Africans at large are apparently well aware of this, as most citizens accurately perceived this to be the most common crime in the country.
More than six out of every 10 households (65.9%) perceived the most common crime to be housebreaking/burglary, followed by home robbery (42.7%), street robbery (42.1%) and pick-pocketing or bag-snatching (26.0%).
Respondents could cite more than one crime.
|Perceived top 10 crimes #||Crime||% Perceived|
When it comes to crimes most feared, however, things look slightly different. While housebreaking/burglary and home and street robbery were perceived to be the most feared crimes, the fear of murder and sexual assault also features highly.
|Crimes South Africans fear the most #||Crime||% Feared|
When looking at the top three crimes feared most, it is very much in line with the incidents being reported to Stallion Security, but the public does not need to live in fear if every person becomes more vigilant and aware of their surroundings. We are often oblivious to what’s happening around us. If you are ever suspicious of something or someone, contact your security provider or the SAPS.
Stallion Security’s top tips to avoid falling victim to crime:
- Turn off your radio when you’re 2km away from home so you can be more aware of your environment.
- Be alert to the fact that you are not being followed.
- Be aware of strange vehicles parked in the street when you arrive home.
- Be familiar with your area; get to know the newspaper sellers on the corner, for example.
- Notice how people dress, if a “newspaper seller” or “hawker” is wearing overalls that seem new he might not be who he appears to be.
- If a driveway robber confronts you put up your hands immediately, don’t try to grab your bag or cell phone: it may look like you’re reaching for a gun.
- Stay calm, listen to the armed robber and obey commands.
- Don’t look the driveway robber in the eye.
- Don’t pretend not to have a bag or wallet. If the driveway robber finds out you’re lying he might hurt you in anger or out of frustration.
- Don’t throw away your keys. It will just make your attacker angry.
- If you lie face down outside the car he might not force you to get back in.
- Seek qualified advice from a security consultant who will carry out a risk assessment and recommend an alarm system specifically suited to your property.
- Make sure that your chosen security provider is a registered member of the South African Intruder Detection Service Associations (SAIDSA) as this is a guarantee that any work carried out by them and equipment installed meets the appropriate industry standards.
- Test your alarm at least once a month and request the services of a technician immediately if your alarm is faulty. It is important to remember to inform your security provider that you are putting your system into the “Test” mode.
- Where possible, install exterior lighting that can be controlled remotely from inside the house. It is also worth considering demand lighting which is activated by a motion detector.
- Try to reduce foliage and bushes in the vicinity of your driveway as these act as good hiding places for would-be criminals.
- Increase visibility. Do you have any high walls or tall hedges obscuring your view of the property? Try to remove these if possible.
- Automatic gates are preferable as you don’t have to leave the safety of your vehicle in order to access your premises.
- Create a “safe area” in your home by fitting a wrought iron gate or an expanding grille gate into which the family can retreat in an emergency.
- Install a safe to store valuable items and copies of keys. Wall safes are usually not fireproof and therefore not suitable for cash or documents.
- Add an emergency number to the speed-dial function on your phone.