Hijacking, kidnapping rates still sky high


Although the number of hijackings and kidnappings in the past three months showed only moderate upward or downward differences compared to the same time last year, these figures are still far too high.

Police Minister Bheki Cele announced the crime figures for the period between July and September on Friday.

The figures showed an average decrease of 2.3% in hijackings, but a significant increase of 6.8% for kidnappings.

In the second quarter, a total of 6,009 hijackings were reported, most of which took place in Gauteng (2,984). There had been particularly few hijackings in the Free State (58) and the Northern Cape (11).

The crime statistics show that there were 272 more kidnappings in the second quarter compared to the same period last year.

A total of 4,300 cases of kidnapping were reported to the police, and once again Gauteng (2,194) stood out as the province where most of this type of crime is committed.

KwaZulu-Natal (860) was also identified as a hotspot for kidnappings, followed by the Eastern Cape (250) which reported a few more cases than Mpumalanga (244).

In 136 of the kidnapping cases, the criminals demanded ransoms, and in 14 of the cases, the people were kidnapped for human trafficking.

Cele said that these types of crimes, as well as robberies, are some of the crimes that South Africans fear the most.

“It is particularly worrying for me that robberies at people’s homes are on the rise,” he said.

In the three-month period, South Africans’ homes were broken into a total of 6,045 times; this is 220 more compared to the same period last year, and represents an overall increase of 3.8%.

Most cases occurred in Gauteng (2 253), followed by KwaZulu-Natal (1 371) and the Western Cape (657).

Cele has gen. Fannie Masemola, national police commissioner, instructed to introduce more regular police patrols and closer connections with private security services and neighborhood watches to reduce these types of crimes.

“These statistics give us a sober analysis of policing efforts to secure South Africans and their properties,” he said.

“However, these figures are also used to redirect resources to where they are most needed, in order to better respond to the common enemy of crime.”

Cele said he was confident that the “unprecedented funding” of R70 million for community policing forums (CPF) would go a long way in giving communities a boost in their security efforts.

“We always appreciate it when communities work hand in hand with the police to tackle crime.”

He added that another 10,000 officers will soon graduate from the police college, which will give the police service the necessary capacity.

Training for police reservists is also already underway “to help reach the target of 10,000 reservists in the medium term”.