Launched: ‘victim empowerment’ report on SA crime trends, hotspots

An overall 109% increase in reported crime incidents was recorded between 2020 and 2021, with Gauteng as No.1 crime hostpot, while armed robbery, hijacking and domestic violence top the list, an inaugural crime trend report by security response company, Aura, revealed. See below article to find out more.

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South African security response platform, Aura, has released its inaugural Crime Trend Report, providing insight into South Africa’s crime stats in key categories from armed robberies to attempted hijackings and gender-based violence.

The stats were gathered data over 2021 from Aura’s nationwide network of over 250 private security and medical companies comprising thousands of response vehicles and over 300,000 active users.

By having a clear and accurate picture of the threats South Africans face technology can then be used to combat, and even prevent crime, that’s according to Aura CEO Warren Myers. “With these powerful data sets, which are being refined and improved daily, we are beginning to really understand how to apply technology to make our country a safer place for everyone.

While the report focuses on 2021, Aura plans to release stats every quarter as part of its commitment to measure and analyse the unfolding trends against at a national and industry level. “Our unacceptably high levels of crime mean South Africans live in a near perpetual state of fear and anxiety. We should never become so desensitised to crime that we lose sight of its devastating impact at every level of society. Combating it swiftly and intelligently is an urgent priority,” added Myers

The report points to 109% increase in reported incidents between 2020 and 2021.

Key highlights from the report are as follows:

  • An overall 109% increase in reported incidents between 2020 and 2021.
  • A 20.6% increase in incidents reported between Q3 & Q4 of 2021.
  • A total of 4,973 hijackings were reported in 2021 – a 3.5% increase from the same period last year.
  • Suspicious activity, vehicle breakdown, an altercation with a 3rd party, followed by armed robbery are the most popular reasons cited for South Africans calling for help via an AURA-powered platform.
  • In 2021, the highest volume of incidents were recorded in Gauteng, followed by the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
  • Protest action and armed robbery per province reported can be directly linked to the 2021 July civil unrests that engulfed the country, resulting in several damaged/looted schools in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
  • 47% increase in incidents of domestic violence in Q2 compared with Q1. It recorded a further 45% increase in cases of gender-based violence between Q2 and Q3, followed by yet another rise of 41% between Q3 and Q4.
  • In May 2021, Aura reported a 61% increase in the number of medical related incidents, coinciding with the outbreak of Covid-19 in SA, and the resulting National State of Disaster pronouncement by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Other key findings show a concerning increase in both organised, syndicate crime and opportunistic crime. Myers pointed out that while syndicates are becoming even more sophisticated, “a rise in opportunistic incidents is indicative of ongoing tough socio-economic conditions”.

The full report can be accessed on https://www.aura.services/trend-report/.