The latest crime statistics that the South African Police Services released indicated a significant increase in residential robberies, as there was a 7.6% increase in this crime category compared to the previous years. These crime statistics can be scary, but some physical security measures can be implemented to improve the safety of homes.
The quarterly crime statistics for crimes reported between April and the end of June indicated a double-digit increase in specific crimes, and these crimes include:
- Overall, there was a 60.6% increase in contact crimes, including sexual offences, murder, attempted murder and other categories of assault, compared to the same period in the previous year.
- There was a 33.4% increase in residential robberies as 1,340 cases were reported compared to the previous financial period in the same quarter.
- There was a 66.2% increase in murders during the first quarter of the year, as 5,760 cases were reported. Of the recorded murder cases, 1,385 occurred in the home of either the perpetrator or victim.
- Trio crimes, such as business robberies, house robberies, and hijackings, saw an increase of 92%.
- There was a 6.3% increase in recorded burglaries at residential premises.
Insurance companies in South Africa have started experiencing more claims due to the increase in residential robberies. They have also noted an increase in security measures that people are using to protect their homes. This is essential as physical security measures are the best option as they serve as the first line of defence.
The first security measure that has started growing is locking bolts which have increased over the last three years as 75% of customers have had them installed. The second security measure that has grown in popularity is security gates, as 72.2% of customers have had them installed inside estates, while 83.5% of customers have installed them outside of estates.
Most vulnerable homes are not adequately secured, containing one security measure or those with their security features disabled. Criminals tend to target these homes as they view them to be easier to target as criminals are opportunistic by nature. When criminals want to break into a home, they usually try to gain access using windows, doors, sliding doors, and if it is possible, they might even use the roof to enter the home. Therefore, to ensure that your home is adequately protected, you must have a security audit as it will assist you in safeguarding your home.
When conducting a security audit, there are some security measures that you can invest in that will make sure that your home is better protected. The first line of defence against crime is usually a sturdy perimeter wall or a fence, which is the main point of entry to gain access to a property.
The second line of defence when protecting your home include sturdy and secure access gates and garage doors. You must ensure that your access gates and garage doors can be remotely operated while also opening and closing quickly. This ensures that you limit the time criminals can use to gain access to your home. You should also make sure that your access gates cannot be lifted off their rails using a crowbar and that the motors are well hidden, as this ensures that criminals cannot easily access them.
Electric fences also offer homes an extra security barrier as they can deter criminals. When choosing an electric fence, ensure that you have professional installers as they will use ones that will meet fence compliance regulations. You should look out for any vulnerable spots that criminals can use to bypass the fence, including trees that can be used for leverage.
When criminals try to gain access to your home, they will usually try to use the doors as well as windows. Therefore, you must invest in burglar bars for your windows and security gates for doors. These are made of rigid materials that are fixed, making it difficult to bypass, break and pry them open. Burglar bars and security gates are essential for older homes as they are more vulnerable.
The best security measure you can invest in is an alarm system from a reputable armed response company, which includes a panic button. You should also consider having security beams installed inside and around your home as they serve as an early warning, giving you and the security company time to react. For the security beams to be more effective, you should set them up in different zones.
Security cameras are also an effective measure that has become more affordable while also making it easier to keep track of the activity on your property. The cameras enable you to monitor your home’s activity remotely through a smartphone app which allows you to have footage from the cameras if criminals break into your home.
Dogs are part of our families; however, they are also an effective security measure. Dogs, especially small ones, have a sharp sense of sight, hearing and smell, making them an invaluable early warning system.
With house robberies increasing more and more each year, most have started turning to physical security measures as they are the first line of defence against crime. Investing in physical security ensures your family, home, and your possessions are safe, ensuring that you have better peace of mind.