Knowledge is best weapon in fight against robbers

Jun 25, 2013

RESEARCH is providing South Africans with the best possible deterrent in the war against crime — knowledge. "Know your enemy," advises Jenny Reid, the president of the Security Association of South Africa.

"Getting to better understanding criminal behaviour helps residents, the police and security personnel discourage intruders and hijackers. Databanks are capturing details of criminal behaviour with findings distributed in awareness programmes, helping establish better crime resistant homes and neighbourhoods."
The downside is that the less prepared, softer targets are taking a hammering. Consider this recent list of key trends:
• Eight out of 10 house robberies are committed with the help of such insiders as maids, gardeners and former employees;
• Robbers monitor target homes for as long as two weeks;
• Gangs research security firms’ response times;
• More attacks occur between 7pm and midnight;
• 97% of robbers are armed;
• Robbery gangs average four in number;
• 50% of residential robberies happen in Gauteng;
• It is a myth that whites are exclusively victims; any display of wealth invites attack;
• On average, house robbers are aged 19-26 years;
• On average, 30% of house robbers have either committed murder or are prepared to do so;
• 17% of house robbers in South Africa are foreigners;
• Of all arrested robbers, 90% had no matric or were unemployed. Most employed people had given up their jobs when they discovered that robbery was more lucrative;
• The average robber commits 103 robberies over seven years before being caught;
• Most attackers live or are based 10 to 30 minutes in drive-time from the target address;
• The conviction rate for house robberies in South Africa is just 7.3% compared with 53% in the US;
• Robbers are not deterred by alarms and armed response agencies;
• Robbers are more often deterred by electric fences, detection beams, CCTV and, considered by robbers as the biggest deterrent of all; are small dogs that sleep inside the house.
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