According to Crime Stats SA , there was a grand total of over 220 thousand crimes reported in South Africa in 2018. These crimes include murder, common assault and common robbery. With these troubling statistics, it is no wonder that major safety concerns exist among people who are planning to travel to South Africa. The top crimes in South Africa, according to crime statistics collected in 2018, include:
- Burglary at Residential Premises – 625 per day
- Common Assault – 428 per day
- Robbery with Aggravating Circumstances – 379 per day
- Theft Out of/from a Motor Vehicle – 354 per day
Common Assault refers to violent assault or battery, either intentionally or recklessly. Aggravating Circumstances refers to the resultant assault or murder of the victim, and Theft Out of/from a Motor Vehicle are cases where items are stolen out of vehicles, including smash and grabs (this is not to be confused with stealing the vehicle itself, known as hijacking, if stolen from a person while driving their car).
Based on South Africa’s crime statistics, as well as knowledge of local travel risks (gathered from the experiences form an executive protection agency), there are some mentionable potential threats that one can face when travelling across the country. These risks can, however, be minimised or completely eradicated with the help of an executive protection bodyguard.
Home Invasion Risk
As one ofthe most frequently occurring crimes in South Africa, burglaries at residential premises are a common occurrence that must be considered as a risk when travelling in the country. Although staying in a hotel or other safe accommodation options minimises this risk, there may be times when a traveller will be staying or visiting residential premises. A visitor who is staying long term may also opt to rent a residential property as opposed to paying the high prices associated with a long-term stay in a hotel. To manage this risk, there is an alternative to completely avoiding residential environments: hiring an executive protection agent. An executive protection agent can maximise the security of any environment, including a residential property, and effectively manage an incident should it occur.
Civil Unrest Risk
Civil unrest risk in South Africa is particularly high due to the political and economic environment. Although not a crime itself (unless deemed as illegal action) civil unrest, otherwise referred to as strikes or protests, can turn violent quickly, leading to other crimes. Bystanders can become victims of assault and assets can be stolen or damaged amid the chaos. Luckily, bodyguards from our executive protection agency, which is focussed on quality and maximum security, are all trained through an industry-leading bodyguard training academy. This training helps our agents to handle strike situations in order to minimise risks to bystanders and to help diffuse potentially dangerous situations when working as a team.
When in a vehicle, there are various risks that a traveller in South Africa should be aware of, including smash and grabs, hijacking and even cash-in-transit heists. Even though you as a traveller are not in a cash-in-transit vehicle, there have been cases of bystanders being caught in the crossfire, becoming victims of injury or death. Hijacking and theft can also become equally as terrifying when the perpetrators feel threatened or defensive, this can quickly turn into another crime such as robbery with aggravating circumstances. Bodyguards minimise the risk of collateral damage in these situations through their skill in avoiding harm and in reacting to conflict. A local executive protection agent will also know which regions in the country are most at risk for such incidents.
Risk of Theft
Lastly, the risk of theft in South Africa is massive. This is not a comforting risk to consider when moving around the country with one’s passport and travel allowance. Theft can also include a weapon which may be used depending on the circumstances.It is best not to oppose a perpetrator in this instance, or to protect yourself by employing an executive protection bodyguard. Again, an agent from a local executive protection agency will be valuable in this circumstance as they know which areas to avoid.
These potential threats may put you off travelling in South Africa, however, don’t miss your conference, event or holiday for these reasons. Hire our professional executive protection agents to ensure your safety while travelling in this beautiful part of the world. We can also assist you in planning your trip with our travel advisory services, guaranteed to maximise your safety and give you a worry-free business-related visit or vacation.