Statistics released by fleet management and stolen vehicle recovery company Cartrack show that carjacking and vehicle theft in South Africa are on the rise.
Theft within the base of vehicles protected by Cartrack increased by 31% in the ten months from March to December 2016, while hijackings jumped 32%.
Vehicle crime statistics from Crimestatssa.com also show a rapidly increasing number of carjackings, with Gauteng residents suffering almost 50% of the incidents that are reported nationally.
This is followed by KwaZulu-Natal, with 17%, and the Western Cape, with 14%.
It is estimated that a large number of stolen vehicles are not reported to the authorities.
According to Cartrack’s data, on average, 45% more vehicle thefts occur on a Saturday and Sunday than on any weekday. Most vehicles are stolen between 11:00 in the morning and 15:00 in the afternoon, presumably so as to avoid being caught in traffic while making the getaway.
With regard to hijackings, Cartrack’s data indicates that 38% more passenger vehicles are taken on weekends, compared with the rest of the week.
Night time is also when drivers should be most alert, as 19:00 to 01:00 seems to be the busiest time for hijackers.
Stolen vehicles and hijackings seem to be the scourge of the Third World, notes Cartrack.
The demand for the product seems to be mainly concentrated in developing countries with high vehicle crime rates.
Cartrack has a presence in 24 countries spanning Africa, Europe, Asia and the US, yet stolen vehicle recovery as a standalone product is most in demand in South Africa and Mozambique, where vehicle theft remains a serious problem.
Vehicle theft is also an issue in certain Asian countries, though not at the same level as in Southern Africa.
The telematics technology typically applied in most countries outside Southern Africa is aimed at providing fleet management solutions.