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Tuesday, 1 July 2008

40 Families attacked every day

30/06/2008 23:23 - (SA)

Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula at the Union Buildings in Pretoria where the latest crime statistics were revealed.

Johannesburg - Every day in the past year, 40 families have been attacked by robbers in their homes.

And the three hours between midnight and 03:00 is the time that robbers prefer to strike.

About 32% of all robberies countrywide occur after midnight.

According to a report by the South African Police Services (SAPS), homeowners should be on the alert also for robbers between 21:00 and 23:59 because 23% of robberies occurred during this time.

The least number of house robberies take place between 03:00 and 06:00.

The number of house robberies countrywide has risen by 13.5% and the sharpest increases occurred in KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State, Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape.

Gauteng was the only province which showed a decrease, although the highest number of house robberies was reported in the province.

Wealthy areas a major target

The crime statistics for the year April 2007 to March 2008 were publicised on Monday by the SAPS under the watchful eye of Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

The police said in the report that Gauteng residents who lived in wealthier neighbourhoods, "such as Brooklyn, Garsfontein, Sandton, Honeydew and Douglasdale, were more at risk of becoming targets or even of being killed during house robberies".

During these robberies, the attackers usually were armed.

The report said: "Because crime occurs regularly in wealthier areas, there is a good chance that someone famous will be a victim or even be killed.

"These kinds of incidents appear on the front pages and in media headlines and resound throughout the world.

"This focus and selective reporting of crime statistics create an international image of South Africa as a very violent society," said the report.

It added that although house robberies and hijackings took place mostly in wealthy areas, extreme violence resulting in serious injuries or death occurred in few of the attacks.

Robbers mostly want specific items and will use violence to get what they want.

"Victims also perhaps may react in a manner that elicits violence."