PANDEMIC RESTRICTS THE ACTIVITIES OF TRUCK HIJACKERS IN SOUTH AFRICA BUT ANNUAL DATA SHOWS A 1.7% RISE IN INCIDENTS TO 1,202

COVID-19 restrictions appear to have had a similar effect on cargo crime levels in South Africa during the peak of the pandemic as TAPA’s Incident Information Service (IIS) has seen in other traditional theft hotspots across the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region, but annual crime figures continued to grow.

New data from the South African Police Service (SAPS) shows the number of recorded truck hijackings fell by 30% year-on-year in the three months ended 30 June 2020, with 198 incidents in total – the lowest level in five years. Gauteng province, where hijackers have consistently been most active, saw 93 attacks on trucks over this three-month period, down 37.9% on the same quarter of 2019.

Figures for the quarter also show fewer truck hijackings in the provinces of Western Cape (37 in total), Mpumalanga (15), KwaZulu-Natal (13), North West (3) and Limpopo (2).

Annual statistics for the 12 months ending 31 March, however, show a more familiar picture. Truck hijackings across South Africa recorded by SAPS rose 1.7% over the corresponding 12 months to 1,202. This compares to the highest annual rate in the past decade of 1,279, seen in 2014/15.

By province, the 12-month data reveals:

·        Gauteng – 629 truck hijackings, down 2.8% YoY

·        Mpumalanga – 144 incidents, up 24.1%

·        Western Cape – 129, up 10.3%

·        Eastern Cape – 124, up 12.7%

·        KwaZulu-Natal – 70, down 12.5%

·        Free State – 44, up 12.8%

·        North West – 36, down 33.3%

·        Limpopo – 25, up 66.7%

·        Northern Cape – 1, down 75%

Of the top 30 SAPS stations across the country recording truck hijackings over this period, 21 were in Gauteng province. Overall, six stations reported 20 or more incidents in the year:

·        Delmas, Mpumalanga – 42 incidents, up 27.3%

·        Kempton Park, Gauteng – 32 incidents, up 39.1%

·        Alberton, Gauteng – 25, no change YoY

·        Heidelberg, Gauteng – 22, down 29%

·        Mondeor, Gauteng – 21, up 40%

·        Brackendowns, Gauteng – 20, up 100%

If you have intelligence on cargo thefts in South Africa to share with TAPA’s IIS team, please contact iis@(*** please remove ***)tapaemea.org