Burglary, assault, hijacking. The numbers
Housebreaking or burglary was experienced at least once by 4.5% of households in 2010, according to Statistics SA's Victims of Crime Survey 2011, released yesterday.
The incidence of this crime was followed by home robbery (2.6%) and theft of livestock (1.4%).
Assault (1.7%) was the most common crime experienced by individuals (as opposed to households), followed by robbery, excluding car-jacking (1.6%).
The extent to which a household crime was reported to the police depended on the type of crime, Statistics SA said.
Theft of a car was most likely to be reported (98.3%), followed by murder (93.2%).
About 60% of housebreakings or burglaries, deliberate damage to dwellings and home robberies were reported to the police.
Crimes least likely to be reported were theft of crops (16.6%), theft of livestock (36.3%) and motor vehicle vandalism (37.8%).
Statistics SA said consumer fraud (28.2%) was the crime least likely to be reported by individuals to the police, followed by robbery at 39% (excluding car-jacking).
Crimes likely to be reported to the police were sexual offences (92.3%) and theft of motorbikes (80%).
Those surveyed said they did not report crime to the police for four main reasons.
First, households believed that either the police would fail to solve the crime or that police behaviour was likely to be inappropriate.
Second, households could not identify the perpetrators of the crime or feared reprisals.
Third, a crime was deemed not serious enough to warrant reporting it. Others did not report a theft because items stolen were not insured, or were old or not valuable. Some respondents claimed that they had solved the crime themselves.
Fourth, some households feared being blamed for the crime, ie it was partly the victim's fault. There was also a fear of being exposed or embarrassed.
"Among those who didn't report crime to the police, some had indicated that they reported to a traditional authority, local gang, community policing forum, insurance company, private security company, local ward councillor or local vigilante group," Statistics SA said.