Housebreaking or burglary has consistently been the most common crime experienced by households in South Africa and is still the number one crime in South Africa, according to the most recent Governance, Public Safety and Justice Survey (GPSJS) 2019/20 report released by Statistics SA (StatsSA).
Despite a decrease between 2015/16 and 2016/17, the number of households that experienced housebreaking and burglary in the five years preceding the survey has increased. The number increased from 2,1 million in 2015/16 to 2,3 million in 2019/20. The second most common crime experienced by households during the five-year period is home robbery. Home robbery has constantly declined between 2015/16 (506 000) and 2019/20 (415 000). (1)
Before we get to the numbers, Its important to note the distinction between housebreaking / burglary and home robbery. “Home robbery” occurs when people or the victims are at home when it takes place as compared to “housebreaking” (burglary), which occurs when the family is away from home.
Trends for household crimes
Figure above shows the percentage distribution of the type of crimes experienced by households. Housebreaking accounts for 72% of the household crimes, followed by home robbery (11,3%), theft of motor vehicle (6,6%), and deliberate damaging to property at 4,2%. Murder and sexual offences respectively contributed around 1% to the total percentage of household crimes. (2)
Profile of selected household crime types: Housebreaking or burglary
Table above shows that male-headed households were more likely to experience housebreaking than female-headed households. On the other hand, households in the lowest income bracket (R1 to R1 500) and those in the highest income bracket (R16 001 and more) were the most likely to experience housebreaking.
In terms of settlement type, households in urban areas were more likely to experience housebreaking while households in the metro and non-metro areas had more or less the same proportions to experience housebreaking. The highest proportion of households that experienced housebreaking were in KwaZulu-Natal, while Limpopo had the lowest proportion of households that experienced housebreaking.
Profile of selected household crime types: Home robberies
Table above shows that female-headed households were more likely to experience home robbery than male-headed households. The result further shows that households in rural areas were more likely to experience home robbery while households in urban areas were the least to experience home robbery. The highest proportion of households that experienced home robbery were in Northern Cape, Gauteng, and Mpumalanga.
The research also shows that weapons were used in 35% of the incidences where households were subjected to home robberies, guns were the preferred weapons used in home robberies (47,1%), followed by knives (34,8%), metal bars (10,8%), and axes/pangas (5,5%).
Furthermore, it can be seen that housebreaking was mostly experienced by male-headed households and households in rural areas. Housebreaking peaked in June in both the 2018/19 and 2019/20 periods.
Home robbery was most likely to be experienced by female-headed households and households belonging to the lowest monthly household income bracket. Similarly, households in rural areas were more likely to experience home robbery than households in metro areas.
Interestingly, high-income households experienced fewer housebreaking incidents than low-income households. In the view of the stats authority, it may be that “the lowest income households are easy to break into due to lack of necessary security while for those in the highest income bracket, despite having better security, they have possessions that attract thieves.” (3)
What does this tell us?
From the stats we can conclude that having some form physical security around the parameter of your property will help in preventing or deterring potential burglars or robbers, as most high income regions have proved, by increasing investment in their physical security. Yet this also applicable to low income regions as well, via Xpanda very affordable products ranges. As female-headed households are the most likely to be robbed based on research, its very vital that these types of households invest heavily in physical security solutions despite the region they are in.
Here at Xpanda we offer a wide range of physical barrier security solutions (security gates, burglar bars, roller shutters, driveway Gates, Garage Doors .etc) to suit all types income groups and region placements, contact us for a free security assessment and professional advice.