This is how many crimes take place every day in South Africa

Last month, the South African Police Service released the crime statistics for 2016, showing which crimes have increased – and decreased – over the past year.

With mote than 2.12 million crimes being reported in the country across 27 different categories, it’s difficult to process how the big numbers translate to a daily occurrence in SA.

By looking at the crime stats as a statistical average, and the rate of crime per the population, we are able to better understand how the crimes relate to the lived experience in the country.

For example, in the 2015/16 crime stats period, with over 340,000 instances of theft taking place, statistically speaking that translates to 933 theft crimes taking place in the country every day – or 40 cases every hour.

Looking at the theft rate among the population, this shows that 618 cases of theft were opened for every 100,000 people in the population.

While the theft rate may not seem that big, it would easily place South Africa among the 10 worst countries in the world for theft (2012 data shows that only Belgium and Spain, with 1000+ per 100,000 population) would be worse.

One factor that is always draws negative attention to South Africa is the murder rate, which is one of the highest in the world. The country’s murder rate sits at 34 people murdered per 100,000 in the population.

Statistically, two people are murdered every hour in the country – 51 people every day.

The following table shows how many crimes take place in South Africa every day and hour – and their rates among the population.
Biggest increase to biggest decrease in crimes 2016

Category 

Total crimes 2016 Crimes per day Crimes per hour Crime rate (per 100 000)
All theft not mentioned elsewhere 340 372 933 39 618
Drug-related crime 259 165 710 30 470
Burglary at residential premises 250 606 687 29 455
Assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm 182 933 501 21 332
Common assault 164 958 452 19 299
Theft out of or from motor vehicle 139 386 382 16 253
Robbery with aggravating circumstances 132 527 363 15 241
Malicious injury to property 119 901 328 14 218
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs 76 159 209 9 138
Burglary at non-residential premises 75 008 206 9 136
Commercial crime 69 917 192 8 127
Shoplifting 68 786 188 8 125
Common robbery 54 110 148 6 98
Theft of motor vehicle and motorcycle 53 809 147 6 98
Total Sexual Offences 51 895 142 6 94
Stock-theft 24 715 68 3 45
Robbery at residential premises 20 820 57 2 38
Robbery at non-residential premises 19 698 54 2 36
Murder 18 673 51 2 34
Attempted murder 18 127 50 2 33
Illegal possession of firearms and ammunition 14 772 40 2 27
Carjacking 14 602 40 2 27
Sexual offences as result of police action 5 830 16 1 11
Arson 4 903 13 1 9
Truck hijacking 1 184 3 2
Robbery of cash in transit 137
Bank robbery 6
Total 2 126 552 5 826 243 3 859

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