The South African police service released its crime statistics for last year, showing the number of burglaries and robberies that took place in South Africa as well as which areas were more affected. According to the collected data, although burglaries (which take place when victims are not at home) at residential premises went down by 2%, house robberies (which take place when victims are at home and under threat) went up by 7.3%.

Gauteng accounted for 25.6% of the home burglaries in the country last year, while Northern Cape seemed to have the least, which makes sense as it is the most sparsely populated province in the country. However, Witbank in Mpumalanga followed by Honeydew and Plessislaer in KZN are the Precincts with the most crime.

(Graph source: Business Tech)

Fidelity ADT stated that it receives about 16 000 alarm notifications every day – they respond to 6000 because of false alarms and people not answering their phones. Monthly, the alerts responded to are, on average:

  • House Breaking and theft – 426
  • Armed Robbery – 98
  • Robbery – 15
  • Hijacking – 7
  • Shooting – 4

Other common stats include:

  • Most of the crimes typically increase from Wednesday through to Sunday.
  • House break-ins and theft occur mostly from midnight to noon and, if the break-ins happen in the morning, the crime is usually reported later on.
  • Hijackings mainly occur early in the morning and early in the evening
  • Armed robberies occur between noon and midnight

(Source: 2 Oceans Vibe)

We advise that you take every step possible to make your home safe. Here are a few ways to deter criminals from your home in South Africa:

#1. Place effective boundaries around your property

Physical boundaries, such as a high fence or electric fence may help discourage trespassers, however, they are not as effective as you think. Electric fencing around your yard only makes your gate a security weak point so you need to make sure your gate is secured too.

Motion detectors should be installed around your property to ensure early detection of someone on your property.

#2. Get an inside watchdog

Criminals prefer dog-free homes. Dogs can be the most effective alarm systems, especially because many thieves know how to wrangle their way through an alarm system but cannot master getting past unpredictable dogs.

#3. Keep your home as private as possible

See not, want not.

People should not be able to see into your home. Make sure you have a high barrier around your property as well as effective window coverings.

#4. Lock up properly

It’s easy to become nonchalant about locking gates, doors and windows properly. Make sure you lock up properly every night and when you leave your home. For added protection, install wireless alarm kits on all your first floor windows as most criminals break-in through first-floor windows.

#5. Hide your keys well

Don’t underestimate just how smart most criminals are. Leaving your keys in very obvious places is basically making it easier for robbers to clean out your home as well as take your vehicle. Put all your keys in a safe place that robbers won’t think to look.

#6. Take care of your garden

An overgrown garden with lots of bushy shrubs and hedges give robbers more places to hide. Make sure you keep your garden neat and tidy and keep all tools and items that could possibly enable criminals, such as ladders and crowbars, locked away.

#7. Use landscaping to your advantage

By planting prickly thorns near your windows, you can deter robbers from climbing into your home and, by adding gravel to your walkways, you and/or your dog will have a better chance of hearing any unwanted visitors approaching your home.

#8. Install CCTV

Take safety to a higher level by installing closed-circuit television (CCTV) to help deter robbers – no robber wants to be recorded on camera! You can also view what’s happening in and around your home at all times.

#9. Don’t advertise going away

While sharing holiday news with friends and family on social media platforms may seem harmless, it can set you up for being robbed. An opportunist robber who hears you aren’t home may break into your home when it is most vulnerable. Make sure you give the illusion that there are people present in your home at all times. Perhaps install timers on your lights and always hide away your cars so that robbers don’t know when your home or away.

(Source: SA Best)

#10. Insure your valuable belongings

Even though you may take as many precautions as possible to ensure your home is safe, you are never 100% safe from crime in South Africa. Make sure you get household insurance for absolute peace of mind. Find out more.

Do you think your home is safe enough?