The simplification and impact of the Crime Survey released has been adapted to cater for Vehicle Crimes due to the high report ratio against other forms of crime.
“More than half of the households took physical protection measures for their homes and slightly more than a third of vehicle owners took protection measures for their vehicles.”
It was perceived by 10% of households that Theft of Motor Vehicle and Hijacking is a daily common occurrence, while theft of motor vehicle is ranked 9th and hijacking 10th as most feared crime in South Africa. Vehicle theft is feared by an estimated 12.8% of households where hijacking is feared by 15% of households.
In 2015/2016, 90.9% of vehicle thefts were reported to the police, while only 86.9% of hijackings were reported to the police. There has been a decline in theft of motor vehicle reported to the police from 2012 – 2015/2016 with 93.8% of incidents being reported in 2012 and only 89.5% of incidents being reported in 2015/2016.
Hijacked vehicles reported to the police from 2012 – 2015/2016 has seen an increase from 80.6% in 2012 to 86.9% in 2015/2016. Though 2013 indicated a 100% of Hijacked vehicles being reported to the police.
There has been a significant increase of hijackings in South Africa during the period 2012 – 2015/2016 which can be indicated as follows:
Theft of Motor vehicle is indicated as follows:
Though there has been a significant reduction in vehicle theft, it can be deemed that vehicle crime has become more violent. It can be contributed to increased vehicle safety measures being implemented on new vehicles and the vehicle key that is required to operate the vehicles, which places vehicle owners at higher risk.
By combining the above incidents (Vehicle Theft and Hijacking) it can be concluded that vehicle crime has been in on the increase over the past 3 years.
The reasoning by households for not reporting motor vehicle theft incidents to the police in 2015/2016 depict that 22.4% solved the incident themselves, 54.1% solved the incident through their family, with a staggering 23.5% indicating believed that the police won’t do anything about the incident.
Households that reported the vehicle theft incidents to other institutions other than the police indicated that 6.4% reported it to the Community Police Forum, 20.7% reported it to a Private Security Institution and 68.3% reported the incident to their Insurance.
Households that reported hijacking incidents to other institutions other than the police indicated that 9.3% reported them to Traditional Authorities, 12.2% to Private Security Institutions, 43.3% to the Insurance Company while 35.3% reported the incident classified under other.
Theft of Motor Vehicle occurrences can be concluded that in 2015/2016 47.7% of incidents took place at home, 17% in a parking lot, 15.4% on the street in a residential area, 13.1% on the street in town, 5.3% outside the office / shops / at work and 1.4% was classified under other. 52.2% of incidents occurred away from home which confirms past surveys and statistics released.
Taking into consideration the vehicle population in South Africa, 49.7% (34 013) of Vehicle Crimes (Theft and Hijacking) occurred in Gauteng, 16.32% (11 166) of incidents occurred in KwaZulu Natal and 15.2% (10 410) of incidents occurred in the Western Cape. The information provided has been derived from Police Statistics released.
The Percentage of vehicle theft incidents occurring was indicated as 45.8% at night, 33.1% in the afternoon, 18.1% in the morning hours and 3.1% as unknown. The times mentioned can be outlined as follows:
The Percentage of vehicle theft incidents occurring was indicated as 61.8% during the week and 38.2% over the weekend. The days mentioned can be outlined as follows:
Weapons used by perpetrators in Hijacking incidents indicated that in 75.5% of incidents a firearm was used, 32.2% a knife was used, 15.4% an Axe was used, 13.8% a Metal Object was used and 9.3% of incidents a stick was used.
Households who experienced the loss of a vehicle by population group in 2015/2016 indicated that 0.22% of Black Africans, 0.9% Coloured, 0.8% Indian/Asian and 0.99% White were impacted.
Through the Victim of Crime Survey it can be concluded that 9.2% of households in South Africa experienced at least one household type crime between 2015/2016.
It can be concluded through previous surveys conducted that Theft of Motor Vehicle and Hijacking can be classified as Organised Crime. South Africa loses over R8.5-billion to vehicle theft and hijacking. Of the vehicles stolen, 57% are taken across the border, 36% filter back into South Africa as cloned vehicles and the rest land in chop shops. The contribution of real-time intelligence could help lower these statistics.
It is the opinion of the writer that increased protection measures in vehicles contribute to the increase of hijackings, but with effective intelligence sharing of vehicle theft incident will have a significant impact on other forms of crime which include Armed Robberies, Thefts, drug trafficking and other forms of organized crime.