Crime in South Africa, 2017/18

Crime in South Africa, 2017/18

The Victims of Crime Survey 2017/18, released by Statistics South Africa on 11 October 2018, has found that crime has increased in the last year, despite a pattern of overall reduction over the last five years. The increases are different from – and worse than – the crime statistics released by the South African Police Service in September and suggest people are not reporting crimes to the police (again). The Statistics South Africa report covers 13 household crimes and 7 individual crimes, fewer than the SAPS report, but it does concern the level of crime beyond what is reported to the police, and is particularly valuable on these grounds.

  • Housebreaking or burglary continued to be the dominant type of crime in 2017/18, accounting for 54% of all household crimes surveyed.
  • An estimated 832,122 incidences of housebreaking occurred, a 7% increase compared to the previous year.
  • An estimated 156,089 incidences of home robbery occurred, an increase of 3% from last year.
  • It is estimated that 16,809 incidences of murder occurred in 2017/18 which is an increase of about 4% from the previous year.
  • In the case of individual crimes, theft of personal property was the most dominant, accounting for about 41% of individual crimes.

The VOCS report makes for depressing reading overall. However, its detailed section on sexual assaults (starting on page 55) is particularly depressing because qualitative investigations not so much bear out the terrible situation that exists for many women as indicate that it is worse. The VOCS report can be accessed here.

In June this year, a helpful detailed look at crime in relation to women was produced by Statistics South Africa. This can be accessed here.

There is also short article about this in the Daily Maverick, which can be found here.

Last updated:  12 October 2018