In addition to reviewing the current official crime statistics released by the government, the researchers of the SoS Report also conducted a wide-ranging survey with 1473 respondents to determine direct feedback on personal security in South Africa. The study gauged the level of security experienced by South Africans before, during, and after the nationwide lockdown.
We released the results of this research today. The complete SoS Report is available here: click here to view the full report.
According to official crime statistics, there was a considerable increase in contact crimes and murders from the April-June 2021 period to the October-December 2021 period. Although sexual crimes decreased in the second quarter of 2021, these again increased significantly in the October-December 2021 period. Another alarming official statistic is that robbery and burglary at residential properties also increased over the 2021 period. Housebreaking and robbery are the most prevalent crimes experienced by South Africans according to the official crime statistics.
AA CEO Willem Groenewald says the official statistics show the ongoing trend of growing crime in our country, and again highlight the need for South Africans to adopt additional safety measures to protect themselves, such as personal private security.
This view is supported by the findings of the report which suggests a high level of doubt in the efficacy of the South African Police Service (SAPS).
Most of the respondents in the survey indicated that they have more trust in private security than in the SAPS. This is of concern since many respondents have been victims of crime, have witnessed crime, and want to report these crimes, however, lack trust in the SAPS.
Many of the respondents in the report said they feel most safe within their own homes compared to public spaces, with many respondents saying they avoid public spaces because of fear for their personal safety. As a result, these respondents also claim to have added a variety of safety features to their homes to improve their personal security such as adding burglar bars, alarm systems and security cameras to their homes in addition to extra lighting on the outside of their homes.
An interesting key finding from the SoS Report is that respondents reported more concern for the physical safety of parents and children than other loved ones and themselves.
The report notes, “… South Africans are less likely to acknowledge the possibility of their physical safety being infringed upon. Therefore, individuals will generally report more concern for their loved ones, than for themselves”.
Willem says because of the alarming official crime statistics, and the results of the first State of Security survey conducted in 2019/2020 (which are again repeated in the 2022 findings), the AA introduced its mobile security app known as AA Armed Response. The app is now available as part of the AA’s Rescue Me suite of apps within the AA app.
“Since we first introduced Armed Response, our offering has grown from an app only available on mobile devices to a small standalone device called Rem-i Amica which provides any user access to more than 180-armed security service providers throughout the country. We understand personal security for people and their families is a priority and this is our way of ensuring some peace-of-mind to citizens in the country”.
AA Armed Response is a location-based security solution which provides immediate co-ordinates of the user’s location to a call centre when activated. More than 180 private professional security companies throughout South Africa are contracted on the service and the closest security provider to the user’s location is then dispatched to provide armed assistance. The services rendered through AA Armed Response are provided by professional security personnel, from independent, registered security companies.
“We cannot ignore the fact that our country is a dangerous to live in and that many people feel threatened both inside and outside of their homes. There is a dire need for people to not only feel safe but to have the tools to protect themselves – apart from carrying weapons, so even children can use it – if they need to. Part of the solution for us, is to provide a service which is reliable and affordable and with AA Armed Response we have that solution,” notes Willem.