In the past five years the general level of crime in South Africa has declined but as of 2017 and 2018, the number of crimes has started to pick up again, increasing fear and distrust in the criminal justice system.
StatsSA conducted a household-based Victims of Crime Survey (VOCS) for 2017 and 2018, which focuses on people’s personal perceptions and experiences of crime.
The survey included over 30 000 participants from households in nine different provinces across SA.
Results of the survey showed that household crimes had increased by 5% overall which is a total of 1.5-million incidences of crime. Individual crime inflicted on a person outside of their home has also increased by roughly 5%, totaling 1.6-million incidences, which effected 1.4-million individuals between the ages of 16 and above.
The Northern Cape had the highest increase in both household and individual crimes. Burglary was the most dominant (54%) crime category among crimes measured by the Victims of Crime Survey (VOCS). An estimated total of 830 000 incidences of housebreaking occurred in 2017/18, affecting 4,25% of all South African households.
An estimated 156 000 home robberies occurred last year, 16 809 incidences of murder occurred in 2017/18. The percentage of households who think that the levels of violent crimes increased during the past three years is greater for 2017/18 at 42,1% when compared to the figure for 2016/17 of 39,4%.
Although the Free State, North West and Gauteng provinces experienced increases in crime when compared to last year, the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape have all seen a decrease compared to last year.
Nearly 32% of items stolen during a household burglaries were clothes, followed by cellphones at 24% and food items at 22%.
Only 33% of households that experienced burglary were satisfied with the police services they received.
Interesting facts revealed by the study include that men are twice as likely than women to be victims of robbery and roughly 31% of locals successfully resisted robbery.
A total of 355 739 criminal incidents occurred with the highest number of them being assaults at homes.