Stats SA’s latest Victims of Crime Survey paints dismal picture


South Africans are becoming more sceptical about crime. This is according to the recent Victims of Crime Survey 2017/2018 results released by Statistics South Africa.

The survey indicates that combined crime levels in the period 2017/18 have increased as compared to 2016/17. It is estimated that over 1,5 million incidences of household crime occurred in South Africa in 2017/18, an increase of 5% compared to the previous year. Incidences of crime on individuals are estimated to be over 1,6 million, an increase of 5% from the previous year.

According to the report, collective household crime levels as well as individual crime levels increased in the Free State. Housebreaking or burglary continued to be the dominant type of crime in 2017/18 accounting for 54% of all household crimes surveyed in VOCS. An estimated 832 122 incidences of housebreaking occurred, a 7% increase compared to the previous year. An estimated 156 089 incidences of home robbery occurred, an increase of 3% from last year. It is estimated that 16 809 incidences of murder occurred in 2017/18 which is an increase of about 4% from the previous year.

In the case of individual crimes, theft of personal property was the most dominant accounting for about 41% of individual crimes. It is estimated that 693 219 incidences of theft of personal property occurred in 2017/18, a decrease of 2% from the previous year. Robbery away from home decreased by 5%, while sexual offence decreased by 61% and assault increased by 12% from the previous year.

Police visibility also declined between 2016/17 and 2017/18, with an estimated proportion of South Africans who never saw a police officer in uniform during the past twelve months increasing by 6%. The courts also received a decline in satisfaction from residents as it dropped 8,5% from last year to 41%.

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