The South African Police Service released its latest crime statistics for South Africa, 2017 to 2018, which revealed a 12% drop in vehicle related crime.
While incidents of hijacking have decreased since 2017, the number of truck hijackings has increased slightly. In 2017 45 cars were hijacked daily in South Africa. SAPS reported a total of 50 663 vehicles stolen during 2017/18.
However latest statistics show 16 325 hijacking and 1202 truck hijackings reported for a total of 17 527.
According to statistics, the most reported hijacking took place in Gauteng (with 8269 hijacking or 23 per day), which is unsurprising as it’s the most crowded province in the country. Second highest was KwaZulu Natal (2 698 incidents), followed by the Western Cape (2198; about 6 a day).
Pro-Active SA provided some tips to stay safe:
Before leaving your location:
- Walk around your vehicle to confirm that there is no one lurking near or inside your car.
- If your child will be driving with you, let them sit behind the driver of the vehicle. This will ensure that in the event of an incident, the driver can remove and shield the child with their backs towards the hijackers/suspects.
- Ensure your number plates are both on the vehicle and no papers are stuck to the rear or front windows of your vehicle. This is a trend used by suspects to lure you into stopping, while your vehicle is running, to either retrieve the number plate or remove the papers.
- Place all valuable items out of sight either under the seat or in the boot of your vehicle. Smash and grabs are extremely common.
- Ensure your windows and doors are closed and locked before leaving.
- Plan your route before departure.
- Stay off your phone – Not only are you a risk of being involved in a car crash, you are also placing your fellow drivers and loved ones at risk. Not to mention it is illegal. Put your phone on silent and out of reach while driving.
- Be vigilant at all times and report any suspicious behaviour to the SAPS and your local security service provider.
- If your windscreen or tyre is damaged while driving, drive to a well-lit area before stopping to inspect the damage.
- Do not stop for anyone that might indicate they are in need of help in deserted or high-risk areas. Contact Law Enforcement, the SAPS or security company to assist.
- Take a different route daily when leaving home or returning home. Criminals pounce on the fact that we are following the same routine and routes.
- Though there is a misconception that only certain makes and models are being stolen or hijacked, if there is a need for a certain make or model vehicle in the vehicle crime market will any vehicle become a target.
- Lower your music, eliminating distractions and be extra vigilant 1km from your destination, ensuring that you are not being followed.
- Park parallel to your home opening the gate prior to pulling into the driveway. Parking in your driveway while opening your gate might get you boxed in.
Victims are chosen carefully prior to the crime being committed; hijackers target drivers who will provide the least resistance to an attack. Routines are also monitored closely (for example, leaving at the same time every morning for work and returning from home at the same time).
Remember that iER is there to assist with any emergency situation. Our dedicated response agents are just a click away, ready and waiting to connect you to the most appropriate emergency service, 24 hours a day – everyday, nationwide.