01 December 2015
Housebreaking on the rise as robbery drops
South African households increasingly feel that the levels of violent and property crimes are increasing and this makes it unsafe to walk in parks or even allow their children to play freely in their neighbourhoods, this is according to the results of the latest Victims of Crime Survey (VOCS) released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) today.
According to the results households thought that housebreaking/burglary and home robbery were the most common and most feared. An analysis of the results showed a similarity between victimisation levels and households’ perceptions about crime.
The prevalence of housebreaking/burglary increased from 4,6% in 2010 to 5,1% in 2014/15. In the same period, home robbery decreased from 2,6% to 1,2%. About 2,1% of individuals experienced theft of their personal property, while 0,9% experienced assault in 2014/15. Despite the high levels of violent crimes in the country, a number of them were not reported to the police. Contact crimes such as murder were more likely to be reported to the police. Property-related crimes, such as housebreaking/burglary theft of personal property and theft of livestock were less likely to be reported to the police. The majority of households who did not report crime incidents to the police cited their reason for not doing so as their belief that the police will do nothing about their cases.
The survey showed declining trends in households’ levels of satisfaction with the courts and police between 2010 and 2014/15. In 2014/15, an estimated 57% of households were satisfied with the police in their area, while about 54% were satisfied with the performance of the courts. Those who were satisfied with the courts thought that courts passed appropriate sentences, while some of those who were satisfied with the police were of the opinion that the police come to the scenes of crime and they were committed in their work. Households who were dissatisfied with the performance of the police were largely in North West and Northern Cape, while those who were dissatisfied with the work done by the courts were mostly in Western Cape and Gauteng.
From 2011 to 2014/15, a noticeable decline was observed in the percentage of households who felt safe when it was dark. Slightly more than a third of household members felt safe walking alone in their area. As a result of fear of crime, households in South Africa took measures to protect themselves and their property. More than half of the households took physical protection measures for their homes while almost a third took physical protection measures for their vehicles. When asked about what they perceived to be the motive for perpetrators for committing property crimes, more than three-quarters of households in South Africa thought that property crimes were committed because of drug-related needs. The perception that drugs were a reason behind the high prevalence of property crime featured predominantly in Western Cape (85,7%), Eastern Cape (84,6%) and Gauteng (81,5%).
When households were asked about their knowledge of trafficking in persons, the majority indicated that they heard of trafficking in persons through the media. Most households thought that the perpetrators of trafficking in persons engaged in this deed to sexually exploit their victims and to extract their body parts. About 90% of households felt that young boys and girls were vulnerable to falling victim to trafficking in persons
The VOCS provides information on crime trends and the households’ perceptions about safety and law enforcement.
The full report is available on the Statistics South Africa website: www.statssa.gov.za
Issued by Statistics South Africa
Ms. Kefiloe Masiteng
Deputy Director General: Population & Social Statistics
Tel: (012) 310 4663
Dr. Isabelle Schmidt
Executive Manager: Social Statistics
Tel: (012) 337 6379
Cell: 082 884 4281
Ms. Lesedi Dibakwane
Manager: Media Relations
Tel: (012) 310 8578
Cell: 082 805 7088