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

Tips on how to avoid being a victim of crime

Summary

Tow female friends walking home

Minister of Community SafetyAlan Winde and the Provincial Police Commissioner, Lt Gen Khombinkosi Jula, have committed themselves to jointly fight crime in the province and create safer communities for all. 

Winde said: “As part of my commitment to working with the police, understanding their challenges and bolstering my department’s oversight role, I will be visiting 10 police stations across the province over the next few weeks. We remain committed to eradicating crime in the Western Cape, and with the help of all residents in this province, along with the police and other structures, we can achieve safer communities."

According to the 2017/2018 Victims of Crimes Survey, 84% of Western Cape residents thought that crime in South African increased or stayed the same. Incidences of crime in South Africa are estimated to be over 1.6 million, which is an increase of 5% from the previous year.

In the case of these crimes, theft of personal property was the most dominant, accounting for about 41% of individual crimes.

The 2018 crime statistics shows that every day, on average in 2017/18, the Western Cape has experienced:

  • 10 reported counts of murder per day.
  • 10 reported counts attempted murder per day.
  • 19 reported counts of sexual offence per day.
  • 116 reported counts of burglary at residential premises per day.
  • 9 reported counts of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition per day, and
  • 320 reported counts of drug-related crime per day.

Avoid becoming a victim of crime

When it comes to protecting yourself from criminals, you can never be too careful or too prepared, but by observing these tips, could help you from becoming a victim.

Reporting a crime

If you or someone you know is a victim of 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, you’ll be attended to in the Community Service Centre by a police official.

  • A police official will interview you and then take a statement from you.
  • A case docket will be opened and the crime will be investigated.
  • If police officials attend the crime scene, a statement will be taken from you and witnesses if possible.
  • The case will be registered on the SAPS Crime Administration System (CAS) at the police station.
  • You’ll receive a CAS number via SMS or telephone that will serve as your reference number 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 keep you informed 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 an important document for 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.

Find out more about your rights and what it entails by reading 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.

To find out more about this programme and what service are available, have a look at the Victim Empowerment Programme brochure.  

The content on this page was last updated on 13 November 2018