People fear walking alone - study

2012-09-27 18:59

Pretoria - Many South Africans do not want to walk alone for fear of rampant crime, a perception study revealed on Thursday.

Releasing the results of 2012 Victims of Crime Survey (VOCS) in Pretoria, Statistics SA (StatsSA) chief survey statistician Joseph Lukhwareni said the number was on the rise.

"We said let us look at the feeling of safety. We asked questions about how households felt in their areas. This question has always been asked.

"We found that there is a decrease in the number of households which feel safe walking alone in their areas during the day.

"In 2011, there were 85.7% of households feeling safe compared to 88.2% in 2010," he said.

Lukhwareni said there was a also slight decrease in the number of families which felt safe walking alone at night in their areas.

The number of people who felt safe walking alone at night decreased from 37% in 2010 to 36.5% in 2011.

Further analysis revealed that more male-headed households felt safer walking alone than female-headed families.

The survey found that Indian/Asian male-headed households, at 83.7%, tended to feel safer than male-headed families from the other population groups.

Feelings of insecurity were highest in the Free State at 68%, Mpumalanga at 54%, and North West at 50%.

Households in KwaZulu-Natal and the Northern Cape were the least likely to feel insecure, according to StatsSA.

More families were not allowing their children to play in places like parks, for fear of falling victim to criminals, the survey found that

Compared to 2010, more families were not allowing their children to play in recreational places or walk to school than in 2011.

Many families, particularly in Indian/Asian, white, and coloured-headed households avoided using public transport to avoid falling victim to crime.

Only 8.1 percent of black African-headed households did not use public transport because of crime.

StatsSA deputy director general Kefiloe Masiteng said the number of households satisfied with the police's performance had declined on the previous year.

"We had a percentage of 65 in 2010, but we had a 62% satisfaction with regards to satisfaction with the police performance [in 2011]," said Masiteng.

The perception about police performance was influenced by factors including the time taken to respond to crime scenes, visible policing and the recovery of stolen goods by the police.

She said about 59.3% of households perceived burglary as the most common crime.

"We were asking families what are the most feared types of crimes. "Housebreaking and robbery came out to be the crimes that people are [most] worried about," said Masiteng.

Housebreaking is classified as unlawful and intentional entry into a building, intending to commit crime while nobody is in the dwelling.

The survey focused on people's perceptions and experiences of crime, and their views regarding their access to the police and the justice system.

The target population of the survey was private households in all nine provinces.

It did not cover other living quarters like student hostels, old age homes, hospitals, prisons and military barracks.

The survey sought to provide information about the dynamics of crime in the country from the perception of households and victims of crime.

The period under review was January to December 2011.

  • louis.langenhoven - 2012-09-27 19:07

    the Liverpudlians are the same...

      denise.labuschagne.54 - 2012-09-27 19:13

      where did u getdis report? hillbrow? fearpenitratingnews

  • lownabester - 2012-09-27 19:11

    True, No more freedom. Gone are the days of just been relaxed.

      koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2012-09-27 20:13

      Agreed, you need someone watching your back 24/7. You pay for a house in a “safe” area (works on points system starting from 2.4 million) where you have a visible security company driving up and down in big black vehicles (kinda gives it away) and on each street corner there are at least 3 CCTV cameras. Funny thing, you still get robbed and of course we all know who the “insiders” are. People get rid of the ones who know more about you comings and goings then yourself and things will change for the better plus those rich housewives will get a little toned. Believe me ladies, your husbands will appreciate it.

  • terrylee.heuer - 2012-09-27 19:15

    We don't want to walk alone, drive alone, cycle alone we don't want to be anywhere alone in this sick crime ridden country!!!

      denise.labuschagne.54 - 2012-09-27 19:19

      u meant world?

      burningdogz - 2012-09-27 19:51

      No Denise, he meant country. South Africa's crime rates are horrofic compared to the rest of the world. Hell not two weeks ago I was held at gunpoint for my phone driving in Johannesburg. If you want to be positive about the country go ahead, but pretending like we don't have a problem is plain naive.

      philip.harris.967 - 2012-09-27 22:20

      Denise , denying the problem doesnt make it go away. I have not visited ONE country in the world where ordinary people live behind electric fencing and razor wire. Not one. Ok I havent been to Colombia.

  • BulletProof. - 2012-09-27 19:43

    If you drive not to bad, if you walk must be with a gun, alone or not.Period.If somebody come to atack me he must be very fast, please don't be afraid to shoot in self defence, your life depends on it.

      arie.vdplaats.3 - 2012-10-19 09:38

      It is exactly as you say bullet.proof. You may defend yourself with maximum effort if you are attacked while walking alone or with a partner on the street. No person is permitted to attack you and to not expect response. BUT YOU must BE WIDE AWAKE in such situations.

  • Savethe White O - 2012-09-27 19:54

    This is nothing new every single South African as well as visitors know that South Africa is a crime capital. You can not go anywhere alone and even in a group your not safe, if you got anything of value even ten rand you may be killed for it. South Africa is thugs heaven

  • joyce.beeton - 2012-09-27 20:10

    Not only scared to walk alone (apart from in a crowded shopping mall), you can't drive along any highway in this country at night for fear of being hi-jacked, God forbid that your car breaks down because you'll be killed at the side of the road. You can't walk in the city centre at night because you will be robbed or worse, raped and worst of all you aren't even safe in your own home without fear of being attacked whilst you are sleeping or just sitting in your living room. The government has failed its citizens dismally because they do not protect us and have therefore compromised our constitutional right, which is to live in safety. Corporal punishment needs to be brought back as well as the death penalty. It works!!! Countries that have harsh punishments (flogging for rape) and the death penalty for drug dealers and murderers. Then I'll feel safe.

  • Gill McCain - 2012-09-27 20:16

    Is this news? Hardly. Who pays for these surveys?

      Savethe White O - 2012-09-27 20:40

      Probably tax payers best of all it most likely cost R50 million to do this study

      len.cox - 2012-09-27 20:50

      We pay for the surveys or don't you pay tax?

  • Vince.York - 2012-09-27 20:17

    ANC racist transformational policies and legislation, mindsets and attitudes with ensuing lifestyles nearly complete! just a "few more percentage points" to go to make the country totally unappealing & unproductive.

  • John - 2012-09-27 20:24

    There are too many PREDATORS who know that they will get away with robbery and other scedule one crimes!!! If WE are not prepared to defend ourselves to the death, do not walk alone. Too few are prepared to take down the criminal because the USELESS policy enforcers are not there to keep the peace but to collect MONEY! Do not take the law into your own hands, they say. Submit, they say! I would feel safer if I knew there was a PEACE OFFICER on every street corner instead of loafing in a vehicle or police st

  • Mike Peach Purchase - 2012-09-27 21:45

    Didnt we all know this would happen post 94?

  • Neal Sing - 2012-09-27 22:08

    let them all become Liverpool supporters!

  • phileo.sophia.5 - 2012-09-27 22:32

    Please take note that the survey regards the PERCEPTION of crime and NOT THE REALITY of crime. It is interesting because these perceptions can isolate people, whether the threat of crime is real or not. I think that it is a particularly important social problem that South Africans do not feel safe in their own country (again, whether or not that feeling is based on real threat is not something which this survey could provide accurate data about). Surely part of the solution to the effects of crime would be to foster a community spirit where people feel safe and happy. Is the fear of crime not a detrimental aspect of our social existence? If people live in fear of crime, then whether the occurrence of crime is real or not, crime nevertheless has a significant impact on how people perceive the world around them. This in turn implies that whether the threat of crime is real or not, people still live AS IF it is real. And if this is the case, then the fear of crime is itself a problem worthy of being addressed - especially if the fear is unjustified in terms of the factual incidence of crime in a community. Living in a state of hightened fear for prolonged periods of time is certainly unhealthy. And therefore the problem of crime is not only a problem to be dealt with by the police and the state. But on top of this, people need to address and overcome their fears if we are to cultivate living in healthy communities.

      koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2012-09-27 23:06

      You are forgetting one small little aspect Sophia: Experience.

      arie.vdplaats.3 - 2012-10-19 09:43

      Phileo,I am inclined to agree that much of our fears are due to our perception of the level of crime. This does not take away the fact that a high crime level however DOES EXIST .

  • Doep100 - 2012-09-28 07:22


  • winifred.watson.9 - 2012-09-28 09:36

    Today we all live in fear, we wake up to it we go to bed with it. Our houses are barred up worse than jails, on top of that we still have to pay an added burden of paying for security. Our children cant play in the parks or even in their own backyard. We can even open a window or leave a door open, we fear to walk the streets, if anybody happens to approach you, you clam up. You are not safe on the roads, you get caught in violent protests, woman and children raped and murdered even poor old grannies. The killings are all of a violent nature. This is not what anybody wants to live in or bring their children up in. My friends in Australie, their children walk to the beach, leave their bicycles on the front lawn, sleep with their windows open at night, Why cant we have the same here, he used to be able to do it. Todays criminals get away with nothing more than a slap on the wrist. It takes years to get them into jail if you are lucky enough to get that far. Police dockets go missing in so many instances, so it only proves that crime in this country does pay. Life is cheap.....and nobody cares anyway.

  • mikki.mikellis - 2012-10-19 08:34

    Sad,Sad,Sad,living in Greece after 36 years in S.A.,Greece might be in a crisis but kids are out playing in parks till 22:00 no problem ,no skipping red robots at 2 in the morning,speaking on your mobile while walking the streets,males ,females walking home late at night or waiting to catch the midnight bus NO PROBLEM.........

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