The latest police crime statistics, for the year to end-March, show a steady fall in shoplifting– despite the desperate state of the local economy.
Some 60 000 shoplifting cases were reported – down a third from the almost 89 000 ten years ago.
The Durban Central police station reported the most shoplifting (1 024 instances), followed by Johannesburg Central, Park Road in Bloemfontein and Cape Town Central.
The police station in Polokwane saw a sharp 15% fall in shoplifting cases to 664 over the past year. It was still the fifth-biggest hotspot for shoplifting in the country, however.
While shoplifting may be on the decline, in contrast, commercial crime increased to its highest level in six years, jumping 14% in a single year, with 83 823 cases reported by the South African Police. These crimes included fraud, embezzlement, corruption, forgery, money laundering and certain cybercrimes.
But many business-related crimes involving physical force declined: robberies of cash in transit fell by 23% to 183, bank robberies fell by 70% to only four in the entire country, and truck hijackings fell 2% to 1 182.