Stats SA

The most common crimes affecting households over the last year. Photo: Stats SA.

Stats SA: Household and individual experience of crime increased over last year

‘The issue of crime is one that is experienced by almost all citizens, irrespective of their economic status or where they live,’ said Stats SA.

Stats SA

The most common crimes affecting households over the last year. Photo: Stats SA.

Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) revealed that most South African households experienced an increase in crime over the last year on Tuesday, 30 August. Individual experiences of crime also increased over the 2021/2022 period compared to 2020/21.


The new data was contained in the Governance, Public Safety and Justice Survey (GPSJS) 2021/22, which is an updated version of the long-standing Victims of Crime Survey (VOCS).

The GPSJS was introduced in 2018/19 and retained many items from the VOCS and added themes on governance.

According to Stats SA, household crimes increased, except theft of motor vehicles, which decreased. Individual crime saw the same pattern with everything increasing except street robbery, which dropped.

People generally feel less safe in their neighbourhoods, according to the GPSJS, with the percentage of adults – aged 16 and older – who felt safe walking alone in their neighbourhoods decreasing from 84,8% to 81,3% in 2021/22.


“Housebreaking is the most common crime experienced by households in South Africa. A total of 983 000 households experienced housebreaking incidences in the 2021/22 period,” said Stats SA.

Home robbery is the second-most common crime affecting 155 000 incidents, while assault was third – affecting 99 000 households.

Theft of property was the most common crime experienced by those 16 and older in the country – it increased from 732 000 to 1.1 million in 2021/22.

There was a massive increase in the number of households affected by murder over the last year. It increased from 11 000 in 2020/21 to 20 000 in 2021/22.

The percentage of households that reported all or some incidences of murder decreased from 100% in 2020/21 to 95% in 2021/22.

“The results indicate that in 2021/22, a total of 1,1 million individuals experienced theft of personal property, followed by those who experienced consumer fraud (376 000) and robbery (246 000).”

According to the data, feelings of safety – in general – have been on the decline since 2019/20. Just over half (51%) of respondents said they would phone the police if they witnessed a crime being committed. The second-most popular answer was calling a neighbour (31%).