Bryte Insurance’s latest Crime Tracker shows which types of vehicles are most targeted during a hijacking in South Africa.
The tracker is an indicator of long-term crime trends in the country and does this by analysing data from insurance from October to December 2017. It measures annual change on a quarterly basis in crime-related claims such as hijacking and theft committed against South African businesses.
The latest data points to an increase in total incidents of crime which impacts businesses when compared to the same period in 2016.
Although persistent socio-economic challenges impact crime levels, a rise in seasonal and opportunistic crime has become apparent.
The perception is that crime spikes during December and January, but Bryte’s data shows that crime spikes as early as October in 2017. This may be indicative of criminals attempting to obtain extra cash for the festive season.
From a business perspective, the motor and property sectors remain among the most affected.
Theft has continued to fall, as a 1.5% contraction was noted in the Q4 of 2017 versus 10.5% in Q4 of 2016.
The theft of vehicles is often committed by opportunistic thieves, such as individuals who are unemployed, rather than crime syndicates.
Vehicle hijackings, however, account for the majority of the reported incidents.
And, vehicles under the age of five years old are the most sought after, while vehicles such as four-wheel drives are being targeted in particular to navigate poor road infrastructure across the region.
Toyotas are the most prominent on the most stolen vehicles list as the engines easily fit into that of a minibus taxi. Vehicle tracking devices, and other anti-theft features, are truly critical when looking for a hijacked vehicles across the country.
Incidents of malicious damage have also increased.
Bryte noted an increase to 18.4% versus a contraction to 23.7% during the same period in 2016. This is the largest spike observed over the reviewed two-year period.
The significant percentage of the malicious damage incidents may stem from damage of property in the act of theft. Burglars often wreck security features such as gates, fences and alarm systems to obtain goods.
The crimes committed are being planned much more elaborately than in previous years, and high value incidents are the work of crime syndicates.