You’re watching television, your wife’s favourite show is on and you know she enjoys it more for the attractive leading man than for the storyline. The kids are tucked away in bed, dreaming soundly. It’s been a long day but being at home, your home, with your family has lifted the weight of a hard day’s work off your shoulders. You get up from the couch during an ad break to fetch yourself something to drink. You smile down at your wife before you leave and turn your head. There are three men standing in the doorway to your kitchen, three men you do not know, three men who should not be in your home. You freeze as you realize the reality of the situation, this is a robbery…

What do the Statistics Say?
The crime statistics regarding home robberies and burglaries over the past year have shown a slight drop. This should reassure families living in Gauteng, we should feel safer to be in our homes, however, as Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula stated during his 2016/2017 crime statistics presentation: “Yes, we have a 1.8% drop in crime, I do not feel it, and our people do not feel it, and they are correct.” It is estimated that less than 57% of home robberies and less than 82% of home burglaries are reported to police in South Africa, mainly because the victims feel no justice can be done in the aftermath of a home invasion.
Gauteng has shown the highest statistics for home robberies and came in the top two for home burglaries showing that Gauteng residents are heavily affected when it comes to home invasions. Most crime will increase from Wednesdays through to Sundays between 12h00 and 00h00, with slight peaks from 12h00 to 18h00. Home invasions are more likely to take place between midnight and midday, however, many residents will only notice their home has been broken into much later.

What do The SAPS and Private Security Companies Say?
The SAPS face many challenges on a daily basis and will usually send the majority of their resources and force to areas with the highest crime, it’s important to note that these are lower income areas. Private security companies, such as ADT, have also shared their statistical data on higher income areas, allowing for an accurate idea of home invasions overall. Their monthly averages showed 98 cases of armed robbery and 426 cases of housebreaking and theft. These security companies are often reliant on the SAPS to help in protecting their clientele and apprehending intruders. This tells us that regardless of income or area, no home is safe from burglaries or robberies.

Observation:
Almost all home robberies and burglaries are carefully planned and executed by the invaders rather than being spur of the moment decisions. The home invaders will survey the potentially targeted home; taking note of who lives in the house, when do they leave for work, what time do they come home, what type of security they have in place, where the easiest access and exit points are, and what time do the residents go to sleep. Observing these patterns will provide invaders with a clear understanding of the residents living patterns and determine the best approach to a successful home invasion.

These facts are frightening, and no one should feel fearful in their own home or need to fear for their family’s safety. Protecting our families and our homes is a high priority for many South Africans and one of the easiest ways of prevention is ensuring your property is properly secured at all times.
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