Motorists, this is how likely you are to be hijacked living in SA
A South African car owner’s probability of falling victim to car theft or hijacking is about 1 in 121, or 0.826%, according to the 2019/2020 crime statistics from the SA Police Service (SAPS). This number has barely changed from 2018/9, when the probability of being a victim of car theft or hijacking was 1 in 120.7 or 0.827%.
That’s according to analysis from AI-driven car insurance provider, Naked, which overlays the eNatis database of registered vehicles (cars and motorcycles) on crime statistics. But alarmingly, the number of hijackings has grown sharply (up 13.3%), while car thefts fell by 2.9%.
This is consistent with the trend in recent years, reflecting how improved technology that makes it harder to steal new car models is lowering the probability of theft. This trend can be expected to continue as older cars are taken off the roads and newer models with better antitheft technology form a bigger part of the fleet.
Ernest North, co-founder at Naked, says vehicle hijackings increased steeply in Gauteng (16%), KwaZulu-Natal (10%) and the Western Cape (20%).
The number of hijacking cases nationwide climbed from 16,026 to 18,162. The probability of car thefts and hijackings could actually be higher than the numbers indicate, however, since not all incidents are reported to the police, and because some registered vehicles are seldom or never used.
“The SAPS statistics reflect the 12-month period ending 31 March 2020. One silver lining of the national Covid-19 lockdown is that next year’s car theft and hijacking numbers may show a marked decrease,” adds North.
Relative to pre-lockdown numbers, Naked Insurance’s data reflects close to an 80% reduction in monthly claims for stolen/hijacked vehicles since the lockdown started.
“It is worrying to see a rise in carjacking and the threat remains high,” says North.
“Looking at the crime statistics by province, area, vehicle make and time of day can help you to make appropriate decisions to mitigate the risks of being a victim of a carjacking or vehicle theft. With the economy slowly opening up and criminal activity inevitably increasing, drivers should remain vigilant.”