While small strides have been made in recent years, crime remains a major concern for the majority of South Africans. In particular, vehicle theft in South Africa is a prevailing problem, with the annual SA Crime Statistics report from April 2016 to March 2017 revealing that there is a high possibility that a vehicle could get stolen in South Africa.
During this period, there were a total of 16, 717 cars stolen, which unfortunately represented an increase from the 14, 602 vehicles that were reported stolen in the previous 12 months. More violent vehicle crimes were also on the rise, with this corresponding period experiencing a 14.5% increase in hijacking compared to the previous period.
However, by gaining a better understanding of vehicle-theft patterns, and acting accordingly, you can avoid becoming another vehicle-crime statistic. Here are a few insights:
Be extra cautious on weekends
Vehicle crime tends to increase over the weekend, due to the fact that there are more people and more vehicles out and about. this scenario creates more opportunities for would-be criminals, and as such, more caution is required during these periods.
Beware the holiday months
There are also higher volumes of theft during the holiday period from November to January, as there is often a strong demand for stolen parts, which results in an almost 13% increase in vehicle crime during these periods. It is critical that you continue to be aware of your surroundings, even if you are in a more relaxed frame of mind during this time.
Be more aware in Gauteng
Unsurprisingly, Gauteng’s status as the country’s economic hub and most densely populated also results in it being the province most affected by vehicle theft, with 64,65% of vehicle crimes occurring in the region. Pretoria is particular a hotspot for vehicle crime, while trucks seem to be popular for criminals on the East Rand, and minibus taxis are strong criminal targets on the West Rand.
Always be Aware
The most important thing to always remember is that criminals tend to prey upon those who are unaware or unprepared. It is therefore imperative that you are always aware of your surroundings, that you avoid undesirable areas, and that you apply common sense in all situations. You should also ensure that you have vehicle theft insurance – with Drive and Save, you can get affordable insurance for only R9.99 a month.