Stats show housebreaking is up

An arrest is made in only one out of every five reported cases of housebreaking or home robbery.

In addition‚ only one in five people arrested for housebreaking is convicted, and this figure drops to just one in three when arrested for home robbery.

These are the findings by Statistics South Africa in its Crime Statistics Series Volume 4‚ which explored the extent of, and circumstances surrounding housebreaking and home robbery.

It recommends that government speed up the implementation of the National Development Plan’s goal of eliminating crime by 2030. StatsSA also suggests measures that could mitigate crime in the country.

These include encouraging the creation of, and participation in the community, crime prevention forums‚ increasing the number of police stations to bring them closer to the people and increasing the police response times.

The report found that an estimated 727 000 households experienced housebreaking in 2015/16 and a further 171 000 households were victims of home robbery. This means 50.1% of all crimes experienced by households were housebreaking‚ with home robberies a close second at 11.9%.

Other forms of crime facing households included theft out of motor vehicles (10.4%) and theft of livestock and other animals (8.6%). Murder was the least common type of crime experienced by households in 2015/16 at 0.9%.

The report found that night was the preferable time for housebreaking and home robbery where respectively‚ over 49% and 65% of the incidents‚ took place at that time.

For both housebreaking and house robbery‚ electrical equipment was the most targeted item. Jewellery‚ money and cellphones were the most common items stolen after electrical equipment in incidents of both housebreaking and home robbery.

“The implication of this finding is that promotion of community crime prevention forums‚ building more police stations closer to the people and improving police response times are some of the interventions that could help reduce housebreaking‚” the report said.

It also found that people were increasingly becoming more afraid to walk alone in their neighbourhoods than they were five years ago. The survey showed that the proportion of households that felt safe walking alone in their neighbourhoods during the day had declined from 89.2% in 2011to 83.7% in 2015/16, and that those who felt safe walking alone in their neighbourhoods at night declined from 36.9% in 2011 to 30.7% in 2015/2016.

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