Vehicle crime rife

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Although Bloemfontein’s vehicle crime statistics are low, the Free State capital is among the hotspots in South Africa.

According to the latest report by the Tracker Vehicle Crime Index, the City of Roses accounted for 2% of the total vehicle crime numbers last year.

Statistics were calculated nationally for the period July to December last year.

According to Tracker South Africa, the country saw a decrease of 13% in vehicle crime during the period in question. Statistics indicate that theft decreased by 21%, while hijacking saw a 5% reduction compared to the same period in 2019.

Ron Knott-Craig of operational services at Tracker South Africa said statistics were recorded from Tracker’s vehicle base of more than 1,1 million.

“The decrease in vehicle crime could be attributed to fewer vehicles on the road compared to the previous year, as South Africans continue to restrict their movements to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.”

He said hijacking still contributed to a higher percentage of vehicle crime than theft, averaging a 53/47 split.

Despite a decrease in the number of vehicle crimes, members of the public are always urged to be vigilant.

Knott-Craig said measures implemented last year to combat vehicle crime yielded results.

These resulted in 2 949 vehicle recoveries, 397 arrests and the recovery of 13 firearms for the six-month period.

“The slant towards hijacking is most likely an opportunistic tactic, with a noticeable increase in vehicles being targeted for their loads, particularly fast-moving consumable goods. Drivers carrying large amounts of cash are also being targeted,” he said.

Knott-Craig said findings made indicate that most hijackings are reported on Wednesdays to Fridays between the hours of 16:00 and 20:00.

Theft is apparently mainly reported on Wednesdays through to Saturdays between the hours of 11:00 and 13:00.

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