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Crime wave to hit South Africa, analysts warn

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) has warned that increasing load shedding will enhance criminal activities South Africa.

Dr Johan Burger of the institution told the SABC that house and business robberies are already on the rise, and there are worries that other criminal activities will follow suit.

“Load shedding is just another chance that thieves are already taking advantage of and will continue to take advantage of. Burglary and other crimes such as house and business robbery will become more common. They’ll be able to stick to load-shedding plans.”

Due to the reduced Covid-19 lockdown limitations and the busy holiday season, security experts have advised people to expect an upsurge in crime in the following months.

According to Annie Kok, a research assistant at the University of Cape Town’s Centre of Criminology, the number of criminal occurrences jumped by more than 50% between Q3 and Q4 2020, following a similar loosening of regulations.

The only way to address this, according to Kok, is via smart intelligence, practical plans, and collaboration among all stakeholders.

Whal Bartmann, CEO of Fidelity Services Group, said the business is ready for further crises, including extra backup teams and air assistance.

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In Q1 2021/2022, South Africa’s crime figures unexpectedly increased, with a considerable increase in instances recorded across various crime categories.

The altered lockdown levels and skewed crime patterns, according to police minister Bheki Cele, are to blame for the double-digit surge in most crime categories.

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While the country experienced a ‘vacation from crime’ during the higher level 5, 4, and 3 lockdowns, the switch to lesser restrictions resulted in ‘exaggeratedly high’ crime statistics, according to the police minister.

“While we will not ignore the abnormally high data, we will instead present a holistic picture by comparing the 2021/2022 Q1 crime figures to a ‘typical time’ two years ago when there was no lockdown.”

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