Hijackings in South Africa have decreased amid the COVID-19 nationwide lockdown, revealed the South African Police Service (SAPS) quarterly crime statistics for July 1 to September 31.
Police Minister Bheki Cele announced the crime statistics 2020/2021 during an address in Pretoria, Gauteng on Friday, November 13.
Data showed a 1.6% decrease, with a total of 4803 carjackings being reported within this period. The majority of these were reported in Gauteng (2435 cases), followed by the Western Cape (838 cases) and KwaZulu-Natal (733). According to data, sedans and hatchbacks were the most common targets, followed by bakkies and SUVs.
The majority of these hijackings occurred in suburban areas and townships. According to SAPS, the Nyanga Police Station received the most number of carjackings with 180 reports, followed by Khayelitsha with 63 reports and Mamelodi East in Gauteng with 61 reports. Philippi East, Delft, Harare, SIlverton, Gugulethu, Olievenhoutbosch and Evaton round out the top 10 stations.
An analysis by the National Hijacking Prevention Academy (NHPA) found that hijackings typically occur every day during the week but peak on Fridays. Most incidents happen at 12 midday and peak from 4pm to 8pm.
Hijackers prefer spots with easy escape routes, which is why residential driveways are common spots.
“Other hotspots include traffic signs or intersections, the side of the road (when the driver stops to answer the phone, for example), schools, filling stations, parking areas and places where passengers are picked up or dropped off,” said NHPA director Richard Brussow.
He added that pistols and revolvers are commonly used during hijackings, with a small percentage of incidents involving high calibre guns or knives.