Tips on how to avoid being a victim of crime | Western Cape Government

Tips on how to avoid being a victim of crime


A young woman sitting in her car in the dark with her phone on Avoid becoming a victim of crime

When protecting yourself from criminals, you can never be too careful or too prepared. Observing the below safety tips could help you from becoming a victim.

Reporting a crime

If you or someone you know is a victim of a crime, contact the police by calling 10111 in case of an emergency or going to your nearest police station to report the crime.

It’s always useful to keep a list of emergency numbers close by for easy access.

What happens when I report my case to the police?

When you visit your local police station to report a crime, a police official will attend to you in the Community Service Centre.

  • A police official will interview you and then take a statement from you.
  • A police official will open a case docket, and they will investigate the crime.
  • If police officials attend the crime scene, a statement will be taken from you and witnesses if possible.
  • A police official will register the case on the SAPS Crime Administration System (CAS) at the police station.
  • You’ll receive a CAS number via SMS or telephone. The case number will serve as your reference for future enquiries regarding the criminal case.
  • The completed case docket will be allocated to a police detective who will carry out the investigation. 
  • Depending on the investigation, the suspects will be arrested and the case will be presented to the courts for prosecution.
  • The detective will inform you of any progress, including when to attend the court hearings.

Know your rights as a victim of crime

The Service Charter for Victims of Crime in South Africa (also referred to as the Victims’ Charter) is a document promoting justice for victims of crime in South Africa.

If you’ve been a victim of crime, it’s important that you know your rights, as contained in the Constitution and relevant legislation.

  • You have the right to be treated with fairness and with respect for dignity and privacy.
  • You have the right to offer information during the criminal investigation and trial.
  • You have the right to receive information.
  • You have the right to protection.
  • You have the right to assistance.
  • You have the right to compensation.
  • You have the right to restitution.

Learn more about your rights and what it includes in the full  Service Charter for Victims of Crime in South Africa.

Victim Empowerment Programme

Our Department of Social Development established the Victim Empowerment Programme (VEP) to support people who've suffered physical, mental or emotional harm through crime or violence. The support is extended to their families as well.

For more information about this program and available services, have a look at the Victim Empowerment Programme brochure.  

The content on this page was last updated on 8 September 2022