House robbery is the most feared crime by South Africans, according to last month’s StatsSA Victims of Crime survey. In the report, almost 60% of South Africans perceived it to be the most common while both burglary and house robbery are two of the most feared crimes.
In reality, however, robbery with aggravating circumstances is the sixth most common crime, behind theft out of or from a motor vehicle (5), common assault (4), assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm (3), burglary at a residential premises (2) and drug-related crime (1).
Last week’s crime statistics released by the South African Police Service, for the period April to December 2016, did nothing to change these fears or perceptions – in fact they have more than likely worsened the situation.
House robbery showed an increase of 5.3% compared to the previous period, with 16,844 cases reported countrywide; the trio crime category (carjacking, robbery at a residential premises and robbery at a non-residential premises) was up 8.2% with a total of 45,512 cases reported.
Gauteng is by far the worst province in number of robberies with aggravating circumstances (the trio crime), with a 7.9% increase in cases, tallying up 40,824 incidents; Western Cape 18,513 (up 1.9%) and KwaZulu-Natal 17,141 (up 6.3%).
Mpumalanga, however, showed the highest increase in cases, notching up 14.4% compared to 2015.
Provincial population numbers skew common-held perceptions that Gauteng is by far the most dangerous province in which to live, while the Western Cape is one of the safest. Using provincial population numbers, according to Census 2011, the picture changes somewhat: KwaZulu-Natal in terms of robbery with aggravating circumstances notched up 16.7 cases for every 10,000 people in the province; Western Cape had 31.79 cases for every 10,000 individuals and Gauteng 33.27 cases for every 10,000 residents.
Population numbers vs trio crimes
KZN: 10,27 million people = 16.7 cases to 10,000 residents
Western Cape: 5,823 million = 31.79 cases to 10,000 residents
Gauteng: 12,27 million = 33.27 cases per 10,000 residents
For the full crime stats, click here