Article : Business Tech 10 March 2018

Bryte Insurance, a business risk specialist, has released its latest crime tracker statistics for the third quarter of 2017. 

Bryte’s Crime Tracker is an indicator of long-term crime trends in South Africa as captured by insurance claims. It measures the annual change in crime-related claims (due to hijacking, robbery, theft and malicious damage) committed against South African businesses.

The tracker reported a 7% year-on-year contraction in Q3 2017 when compared to a 3.8% year-on-year contraction recorded in Q3 2016.

This represents a notable decrease in overall crimes against businesses which may be attributed to proactive measures undertaken by businesses to reduce exposure to incidents of crime, Bryte said.

Theft decelerated to a 7% annual contraction in Q3 2017 when compared to a 2.5% contraction in Q3 2016.
Similarly, a decrease in hijackings overall was also reported, with stats reflecting a 18.6% annual contraction in Q3 2017 when compared to a 5.6% contraction in Q3 2016.
Contact Crime (robberies and hijackings) has also seen notable decreases since 2015, contracting by 5.6% in Q3 2016 and 18.6% in Q3 2017.
On the rise

One of the biggest increases was in the number of armed robberies, especially cash-in-transit (CIT) heists, said Bryte.

“The rise of organised crime syndicates – many of whom seem to have access to insider information – is driving up the success rate of heists/business robberies. Some statistics suggest that 90% of business-related armed robberies are committed with the help of an insider/information supplied by them,” Bryte said.

The report found that this data also coincided with data from the the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC), which states that it saw an increase of 49% was noted when comparing 1 January – 31 August 2017 to the same period in 2016.

“Cash remains enormously attractive to criminals hence, the propensity towards CIT heists. Often, organised crime syndicates access critical information by either bribing employees or intimidating them by threatening their security as well as that of their family,” said Bryte.

“It is imperative that businesses rigorously screen employees in critical positions and regularly monitor them to minimise exposure to such threats.

“Furthermore, businesses need to encourage employees to report any propositions/threats from criminals, create an understanding of the severe consequences of crime and provide appropriate security to the threatened employee and their family to ensure their safety,” it said.