Why 50% of victims don’t report house robberies, break-ins

2014-02-06 13:26

About half of all house break-ins and robberies are not reported to the police – mainly because victims believe the police can’t or won’t do anything about it, a Statistics SA survey has found.

A total of 30 000 households were surveyed between 2010 and 2011. The study focused on house break-ins and house robberies (where there is a threat of violence or violence), which account for 60% of reported crime in the country.

In 2011, 730 000 house break-ins and 200 000 robberies were reported.

Statistician-general Pali Lehohla announced the findings of the Victims of Crime Survey in Pretoria this morning where he warned the public against not reporting crimes to police stations.

The survey found that the low rate of arrests – in less than 25% of cases – and convictions for house break-ins and robberies could be partly the result of the low rate of reporting.

“An estimated 22.7% of housebreaking and burglary incidents in South Africa resulted in a suspect being arrested. About 16.2% of these reported crimes led to convictions of criminals in 2011 and approximately 12.6% of cases were still ongoing and not yet concluded.

“Home robberies had 24.5% arrests in 2011 and only 30% resulted in convictions, while 20% of these cases were still ongoing,” the survey found.

Victims said they did not report the crimes because they thought it was “not serious enough”, they had solved the crimes themselves or feared being attacked again for reporting the crime to the police.

But the majority of victims who did not report the crimes – 50.7% – failed to do so because they believed “police could do nothing”, while 34.2% said “police won’t do anything”.

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