KZN tops list for housebreakings in SA, survey finds

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  • According to Stats SA, 1.2 million incidences of housebreaking were recorded in 2019/2020.
  • Almost 52% of households that experienced housebreaking reported it to the police.
  • Stats SA worked with a sample size of 29 231, of which 19 655 responded.

KwaZulu-Natal households experience the highest proportion of housebreakings in the country.

This is according to Statistic SA’s Governance, Public Safety and Justice Survey on victims of crime, which was released on Tuesday.

Unlike the annual crime statistics released by the SA Police Service, which focuses on reported crimes, the survey provides estimates of the prevalence and incidences of crime. 

"In 2019/20, an estimated 1.2 million incidences of housebreaking occurred, affecting 891 000 households in South Africa. The number of affected households represents 5.3% of all of those in the country. Almost 52% (51.7%) of households that experienced housebreaking, reported it to the police," read the report. 

In some instances, households experienced break-ins several times.

The survey based on 19 655 households, with a 29 231 sample size, was targeted at all private households. According to the survey, the province had 214 000 incidents that made up 7.1%. 

The survey also revealed that male-headed households were more likely to be victims of housebreakings, while those with an income of R1-R 1 500, and the lowest and those with an income of R16 001 and higher, were also more likely to be victims.

"The Victims of Crime report focuses on people’s perceptions and experiences of crime, as well as their views regarding their access to, and effectiveness of the police service and the criminal justice system. Households are also asked about community responses to crime."

There was an increase in terms of how safe individuals in these households felt walking in their neighbourhoods during the day - from 82.6% in 2018/19 to 86.6% in 2019/20.

"The results show that most households felt safer walking alone in their area during the day than when it is dark. Females felt more unsafe than males walking alone when it is dark. On the other hand, people in rural areas had a greater feeling of safety walking alone in their areas when it is dark than people in urban areas."

The survey also looked at how well people knew and trusted their neighbours.

"There was a significant increase in the proportions of households who know their neighbours' names between 2015/16 and 2016/17. Although a significant decrease between 2016/17 and 2019/20 was observed, there was no significant increase in the proportions of households who have knowledge of their neighbours' names over the five years."
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