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HomeNewsCarjackings on the decline in South Africa – and more good news

Carjackings on the decline in South Africa – and more good news

Police Minister Bheki Cele has published the latest crime statistics for South Africa, with a silver lining surrounding the dark cloud that is the country’s roads.

Most vehicle-related crimes saw a downtick in frequency during the first quarter of the 2023/2024 financial year, which runs from April to June 2023, in comparison to the same period in 2022.

Additionally, more drunk drivers and those under the influence of drugs were caught as a result of visible policing efforts.

Vehicle-related crimes

The Q1 crime statistics are divided into four main categories – Contact Crimes, Contact-related Crimes, Property-related Crimes, and Other Serious Crimes

“Contact crimes” covers events like murder, but also car-related cases like hijackings and cash-in-transit heists. This category saw a 4.8% rise in incidents compared to the same period last year, going from 142,915 cases to 149,806 cases.

This is an alarmingly-high statistic, but one positive development is that the number of incidents caught as a result of active policing went up by a considerable 13.9% over the same period.

Active policing refers to operations like law enforcement roadblocks, which check drivers for things such as possession of illegal goods like drugs or firearms, driving while under the influence (DUI), or licence infractions. It also refers to non-motoring police activities like raids on suspected illegal activities.

The number of crimes caught as a result of measures like these increased from 54,222 cases in 2022, to 61,738 cases in 2023, with DUI arrests accounting for 13,948 of these cases.

The report also provided a more in-depth breakdown of the number of reported cases of individual crimes, including motor-related activities like theft of items taken from a vehicle, truck hijackings, vehicle theft, and carjackings, which you can see below:

Category April – June 2022 April – June 2023 % change
Theft out of or from a motor vehicle 21,213 cases 20,940 cases -1.3%
Truck hijackings 508 cases 499 cases -1.8%
Theft of motor vehicle and motorcycle 9,335 cases 9,081 cases -2.7%
Carjacking 5,866 cases 5,488 cases -6.4%

While the number of incidents is still high, it shows a small but appreciable improvement in crime rates over the past year, with carjackings seeing the most notable improvement.

Interestingly, the number of truck hijackings reported is also lower than it was in 2022, despite a number of high-profile incidents that took place in Kwa-Zulu Natal and Mpumalanga earlier in July where truck drivers were hijacked and their vehicles set ablaze.

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