New data shows 140,000 SA families are robbed at home a year - mostly without weapons involved

Business Insider SA
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  • A new survey by Statistics SA shows that over the past five years, 2.3 million households were hit by a burglary.
  • More than 7% of KwaZulu-Natal households were affected by housebreaking.
  • In 65% of home robberies – burglaries when families are still at home - no weapons were used.  
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This week, Statistics SA released a new survey into the victims of crime in South Africa, which showed that housebreaking is consistently the most common crime experienced by households in South Africa.

Over the past five years, 2.3 million households experienced a burglary. In the past year alone, 891,000 households were affected by a housebreaking – lower than the 970,000 in the previous year, but still more than 5% of all households in the country.

More than 7% of KwaZulu-Natal households were hit, followed by the Western Cape (5.9%) and Gauteng (5.3%).

Source: Statistics SA

The percentage of households that reported burglaries to the police increased from 48.2% in 2018/19 to 51.7% in 2019/20, the Governance, Public Safety, and Justice Survey (GPSJS) 2019/20 report shows.

READ | These crimes are surging in South Africa’s major cities

Housebreaking is usually most common in June and December, but most recently, a new spike has started to emerge in September.

Source: Statistics SA

Households in the lowest income bracket (R1 to R1,500 a month) and those in the highest income bracket (R16,001 and more) were the most likely to experience housebreaking.

The second most common crime in the past five years was home robberies, with 415,000 households affected. “Home robbery” is a violent crime because people are at home when it takes place, while “housebreaking” (burglary) occurs when the family is away from home.

In the past year, almost 140,000 households suffered a home robbery – almost 1% of all households. Last year, home robberies happened most frequently in January in South Africa.

Source: Statistics SA

In 65% of home robberies, no weapons were used.  

In the 35% of cases where the robbers had weapons, guns were the most common option (47%), followed by knives (35%), metal bars (11%), and axes/pangas (6%).

Source: Statistics SA

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