KZN and Free State households feel safest

2012-09-28 00:00

SOUTH Africans fear home invasion more than murder, and KwaZulu-Natal has the second highest percentage of burglaries.

Six out of 10 households see burglaries as the most common crime and 5,4% of the households had already been robbed at least once in 2011.

This trend emerged from the annual Victims of Crime survey by Statistics South Africa (SSA), which was announced in Pretoria yesterday.

The survey, which covered 30 000 households nationwide, showed that the crimes most feared in residential areas are burglaries (57,4% of the households); house robberies (49,8%); street robbery (39,6%); and murder (38,8%).

The Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal had the highest percentage of burglaries (38,3% and 36,4% respectively) and the Western Cape experienced the least of these (16,4%).

Dr Isabelle Schmidt, SSA’s executive manager for social statistics, likened crime to an iceberg. The bit showing above the water represents the reported crimes. She said the biggest part is crimes that are not reported. Sometimes, it is not crime that goes up, but more people reporting crimes, she said.

In 2011 more than a third of the households said their members did not walk alone in open areas for fear of crime and 23,2% of the households would not allow their children to go out into their neighbourhood without constant adult supervision.

Another 15,7% do not allow their children to walk alone to school. More than 35% of white and Indian households do not allow their children to play in the neighbourhood, while only 28,5% of coloured households and and 20,1% of black households have the same rule.

The survey shows that residents of male-headed households feel safer than in homes headed by a woman.

The residents of white and black households feel less safe when walking in the dark than do Indian and coloured households.

Most people feel unsafe in the Free State (68%), followed by Mpumalanga (54%) and the North West (50%).

Households in KwaZulu-Natal and the Northern Cape feel the safest.

The survey shows that while some 37% of the households believe violent and non-violent crimes have decreased in their neighbourhoods from 2009 to 2011, some 30% believe crime levels have remained the same, said the SSA.

About half of the households have implemented measures to protect their homes and about a quarter did the same for their cars.

Only 4,6% of the households said they carry a firearm to defend themselves or their property.

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