Although crime levels were lower, most South Africans thought crime was on the increase and had lower confidence in the police, a survey released by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) has revealed.
Speaking at a seminar in Pretoria on Thursday, senior research fellow at the ISS, Antoinette Louw, said although crime levels in the country were lower since 1998 and 2003, most of the 4 500 people surveyed thought crime was on the increase, particularly with regard to house breaking.
"Since 1998 house breaking and burglary has been the most common crimes that South Africans report," said Louw.
According to the 2007 national victim survey conducted during October to November last year, 81% of people reported house breaking incidents to the police compared to the 2003 survey showing that only 57% of people reported house breaking.
"The survey shows that the crime that the public worries about the most ... that they fear the most [is] housebreaking. I think that is our main area of concern," she said.
On the issue of aggravated robbery, senior researcher at the ISS Dr Johan Burger said the issue was a "real challenge" with street robbery being on the increase at 70%. He also said that the ISS had noted an increase in ATM attacks -- especially those located in townships.
On the issue of corruption -- where people paid bribes to government officials -- 32% of people said they paid bribes in the form of money for traffic offences. This in comparison to 27% of people who paid bribes in the 2003 survey.
People in Gauteng were found to be the most negative about crime. Greed was found to be the most likely reason why people thought others committed crimes.
The punitive response to crime was also gaining popularity among people. Thirty-four percent of respondents were in favour of punitive action compared to 15% in 2003.
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