Vision Tactical –
Violent crimes that South Africans fear most such as murder, attempted murder and robbery have increases dramatically every year. And the bad news is that cases of armed robberies, burglaries, murder, attempted murder and serious assault tend to increase markedly over the festive season.
According to the South African Police Service, the year to 31 March, 2019 saw increases in all contact crimes, including murder, sexual offences, attempted murder, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, common assault, common robbery and robbery with aggravating circumstances.
Reports of sexual offences saw the highest increase at 4.6% while robbery with aggravating circumstances increased the least, at 1.2%.
Over the last year, 21,002 people were murdered across the country, up by 686 from 2017/18. The most common cause of murder was misunderstandings/arguments, followed by domestic violence and gang-related killings.
Incidents of murder decreased between 2009 and 2012 from 18,084 to 15,554 but have continued to rise in the last six years. Attempted murder increased by 4.1% in 2018/19.
Vision Tactical Director Yaseen Theba says that there’s a number of reasons why crime rates increase over the festive season.
“More people consume more alcohol and recreational drugs. Research conducted by the South African Police Service (SAPS) shows that most cases of violence occur when acquaintances, friends or family members have arguments that spiral out of control, especially when people are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In many cases, nightclubs, taverns, shebeens and private homes of victims or perpetrators become crime scenes.”
Theba adds that many of these crimes are opportunistic.
“In the case of house burglaries, the opportunity is greater when people are away at work or on holiday. House robberies are also more likely to occur over the summer holidays when people tend to let their guard down and spend more time outside with their doors open.”
Although the available data allows inferences to be drawn about why crime spikes over the festive season, there are no accurate statistics to properly explain the trend.
We do know what the year-on-year crime statistics are for the various police station precincts because these are published annually on the SAPS website.
Central business districts are usually the most high-risk areas in the country. These are areas like central Johannesburg and central Pretoria.
But many businesses close during the festive season and many households visit holiday destinations. This means that many of the high-risk areas may become low risk, and areas that are “sleepy hollows” most of the year may become more high risk over the December holiday period.
Theba has urged that during the festive season, holidaymakers, visitors and those staying at home should remain vigilant.
It is a good idea to discuss the neighbourhood crime situation with the local police, private security companies and community policing structures.
Only through greater community involvement can stronger local support structures be built.
Contact Vision Tactical for all security related enquiries:
Phone: 074 772 333 3