Vehicle crime ramped up towards the end of 2023 – Tracker

12th February 2024

By: Irma Venter

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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Tracker’s vehicle crime statistics for July to December last year show an increase in vehicle crime, with a peak in November.

Data from the asset tracking company also shows that a business-owned vehicle is 56% more likely to be subjected to vehicle crime than a personal vehicle.

The Tracker Vehicle Crime Index (VCI) aggregates information from the company’s more than 1.1-million subscriptions. 

Tracker’s data indicates that, at a national level, hijackings still dominate, accounting for 55% of all national vehicle crime incidents, versus theft at 45%. 

However, while the theft ratio for personal vehicles is slightly higher at 52%, a business-owned vehicle has a far higher hijacking propensity, at 64%. 

This means that a business-owned vehicle is almost twice as likely to be hijacked than stolen.

Gauteng is still the province that experiences the highest volume of vehicle crime, with 61% of total vehicle crime incidents, followed by KwaZulu-Natal at 14%, and the Western Cape at 9%. 

The same trend applies when examining business vehicle crime specifically, with Gauteng at 56%, KwaZulu-Natal at 14% and the Western Cape at 13%.

Around 55% of all nationwide hijackings occur in Gauteng owing to higher vehicle volumes in this province. However, Gauteng is the province with one of the lowest proportions of hijacking, at 48%, in comparison to theft, at 52%.

In the Western Cape, a stand-out statistic is that business vehicle crime is overwhelmingly skewed toward hijacking, accounting for 82% of incidents. 

This means that it is almost five times likelier for a business-owned vehicle to be hijacked, rather than stolen in the Western Cape.

There is statistically lower business vehicle crime collectively for provinces other than Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape. 

However, the crime that occurs in these regions is again skewed towards hijacking, with a 63:37 hijacking-versus-theft ratio.

Nationwide, a higher proportion of vehicles are reported hijacked on Fridays, and between the hours of 4 pm and 8 pm.

Theft is mainly reported on Saturdays, and between the hours of 11 am and 3 pm.

“Tracker's vehicle crime statistics run parallel to the South African Police Service crime data for 2023, reflecting a steady increase in vehicle crime from quarter one to quarter three,” notes Tracker COO Duma Ngcobo

“Tracker urges fleet owners and companies to be better prepared for the heightened vehicle theft and hijacking levels during the year-end and other peak crime periods by ensuring well-maintained fleets and implementing robust fleet monitoring solutions,” he adds.

“Additionally, prioritise driver safety through training on vehicle safety checks, emergency protocols and hijack prevention strategies.”

Tracker’s efforts to combat vehicle crime have resulted in 124 419 vehicle recoveries, 20 838 arrests and 1 113 firearms recovered to date.


Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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