Friday, October 24, 2008

SA robberies 'carefully planned'

Snowy Smith, one of our regular readers keeps warning us about the dangers of employing maids and gardeners.

This article once again highlights the dangers of letting someone into your innermost sanctuary and trusti
ng them with your very life.

We have all heard the endless horror stories of Precious selling our house plans, inventory list, alarm codes and providing information on our daily movements. Yet we still believe in the goodness of people and believe our Sophie is the exception.

The sad thing is however, that South Africans would rather trust these strangers with their house keys and alarm codes than their own family, and this mindset will have to change. If the daily reports on these dangers don’t encourage anyone to get rid of these domestic workers’ maybe the present economic climate will force some of us to make this decision. After all, a automatic dishwasher uses a lot less soap and drinks a great deal less coffee than Sophie.

Pretoria - Eight out of every ten robberies committed in South Africa are carefully planned.

Research by Dr Rudolf Zinn, a senior lecturer in forensic and crime investigation at Unisa, showed that robbers often received information weeks before committing the crime from domestic workers or people who knew a family's movements well.

Most house robbers got away with more than 100 serious crimes before finally being apprehended.

Most robberies were planned for financial gain, he said.

Zinn, who is also the chairperson for the world convention for modern crime investigation, organised crime and human rights, on Thursday shared his information about crime trends with members of community policing forums in Pretoria.

Zinn's findings were based on interviews with 30 house robbers between the ages of 19 and 26 in various prisons. He wanted to know the reason for their crimes, among others.

Financial gain

He claimed most of them did it for the money.

His research also showed that robbers gathered thorough information about a house. They would question domestic workers or vulnerable or naive family members like children about the behavior of the family, up to two weeks in advance. Sometimes they also asked around in the neighborhood.

Zinn found that two thirds of prisoners had committed on average 103 serious crimes over a period of six years and seven months before being caught. About 83% of house robberies were committed by South Africans. Ninety percent of the perpetrators were black. Only 20% had matric.

"Crime increased last year by 13.5% and about 15 000 house robberies are committed each year - most of them in Gauteng," said Zinn.

"Most of them (the robbers) come from broken homes. They are often violent and usually target homes in wealthier suburbs."

Zinn said there were several protective measures people could take to ensure their safety. It included locking homes to ensure that alarm systems were armed. He encouraged people to become part of community policing forums and to always be alert.

1 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

A average of 103 serious crimes before beeing cought. Now we understand the dimension of the good we do when in the cause of defending ourselves against a violent crime we take one ( or hopefully more ) of this criminal scum out.