More South Africans are feeling unsafe as crime rate increases, says Stats SA
Feelings of safety in SA have been declining since 2019/20, data released by Stats SA show.
According to the Governance, Public Safety and Justice Survey 2021/22, released by statistician-general Risenga Maluleke on Tuesday, the percentage of adults aged 16 years and older who felt safe walking alone in their neighbourhoods during the day decreased from 84.8% in 2020/21 to 81.3% in 2021/22.
“Females felt more unsafe than males walking alone when it is dark. On the other hand, people in rural areas had a greater feeling of safety walking alone in their areas when it is dark than people in urban areas. The feeling of safety during the day in rural areas has declined from 70.4% to 65.2% in 2021/22,” read the report
While the experience of murder has decreased by 7% from the previous year, the experience of assault has increased by 70% from the previous year with about 213,000 households experiencing assault in the past five years.
The experience of sexual offences has increased by 28% from the previous year with about 32,000 households experiencing this type of crime during the past five years.
According to the report, household crimes experienced in the 12 months increased compared with 2020/21, with the exception of theft of motor vehicles, which decreased.
The number of individuals who experienced hijacking increased from 64,000 in 2020/21 to 134,000 in 2021/22.
An estimated 137,000 hijackings occurred in 2021/22, affecting 134,000 people aged 16 years and older, and about 63% of the victims reported some or all incidences to the police.
The experience of crime by households between the 2020/21 and 2021/22 periods shows an upward trend in four of six types of crime, according to the report.
Housebreaking/burglary has consistently been the most common crime experienced by households in SA.
“The number of households that experienced this crime increased from 2017/18 to 2019/20, and then it dropped in 2020/21 before increasing again in 2021/22. The second most common crime experienced by households during the five-year period is home robbery. Home robbery has constantly declined between 2017/18 (459,000) and 2021/22 (394,000). However, there is an increase observed in the experience of home robbery between 2020/21 (312,000) and 2021/22 (394,000),” read the report.
The report also shows the experience of crime by individuals between the 2020/21 and 2021/22 periods has shown an upward trend in three of four types of crime.
Theft of personal property was the most common crime experienced by individuals in SA.
“The number of individuals who experienced this crime has increased from 1.8-million in 2017/18 to 2.4-million in 2019/20 before it decreased to 2.1-million in 2020/21. Theft of personal property increased to 2.9-million in 2021/22. The second most common crime experienced by individuals during the five-year period is consumer fraud,” it said.
Further, consumer fraud rose sharply between 2018/19 (173,000) and 2019/20 (670,000), then decreased in the 2020/21 period to 583,000 before increasing sharply to 1- million in 2021/22.
“Street robbery increased from 735,000 in 2017/18 to 1.1-million in 2018/19 and 2019/20, respectively. The levels then dropped to 832,000 in 2020/21 and further declined to 799,000 in 2021/22. There is a sharp increase between 2020/21 and 2021/22 for consumer fraud and hijacking types of crimes. Hijacking, which has been increasing since 2017/18, decreased in the 2020/21 period and rose sharply to 330,000 in 2021/22.”
Data has indicated the experience of crime by households has increased for housebreaking, home robbery, assault and murder types of crime. Furthermore, housebreaking was mostly experienced by female-headed households and households in rural areas. Housebreaking peaked in June, with 147,000 households experiencing this crime.
“There is an increase observed in the number of households that reported at least one incidence of housebreaking. A total of 99,000 households experienced assault in 2021/22. This is almost double the 2020/21 figures. Assault was most likely to be experienced by female-headed households and households in non-metro areas,” read the report.
The survey further shows the number of incidences of consumer fraud increased from 493,000 in 2020/21 to 844,000 in 2021/22. Females and people living in urban areas were most likely to experience consumer fraud. The percentage of individuals who reported some or all incidences to the police increased from 41.3% in 2020/21 to 44.2% in 2021/22.
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