Crime soars in security marketplace Aura’s inaugural report

AURA, South Africa’s leading security and medical response marketplace has released its inaugural Crime Trend Report, providing new and unique insight into South Africa’s crime stats in key categories from armed robberies to attempted hijackings and gender-based violence.

The report gathered data over the past year from the nationwide AURA network of over 250 private security and medical companies.

A clear and accurate picture of the threats South Africans face enables the development of technology interventions to combat, and even prevent crime, says AURA CEO Warren Myers.

“With these powerful data sets, which are being refined and improved daily, we are beginning to really understand how to apply technology to make our country a safer place for everyone.”

While AURA’s report focuses on 2021, the plan is to release quarterly stats as part of its commitment to measure and analyse trends against those that are being reported at a national and industry level.

“Our unacceptably elevated levels of crime mean South Africans live in a near perpetual state of fear and anxiety,” explains Myers. “We should never become so desensitised to crime that we lose sight of its devastating impact at every level of society.”

Combating crime swiftly and intelligently is an urgent priority

The report notes an increase in activity relating to user safety. AURA’s services let users request help when they feel unsafe.

Key highlights from the AURA 2021 Trend Report

  • An overall 109% increase in reported incidents between 2020 and 2021.
  • A 20.6% increase in incidents reported between Q3 and Q4 of 2021.
  • 4 973 hijackings were reported in 2021 – a 3.5% year-on-year increase for the same period.
  • In 2021, the highest volume of incidents was recorded in Gauteng, followed by the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
  • Protest action and armed robbery per province reported for 2021 can be linked to the civil unrest that engulfed the country in the third quarter, particularly in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
  • 47% increase in incidents of domestic violence in Q2 compared with Q1, with a further 45% increase in cases of gender-based violence between Q2 and Q3 and another rise of 41% between Q3 and Q4.
  • In May 2021, AURA reported a 61% increase in the number of medical related incidents, coinciding with the beginning of the country’s devastating third wave of COVID-19 infections.

Suspicious activity, vehicle breakdown, an altercation with a third party, followed by armed robbery are the most popular reasons cited for South Africans calling for help via an AURA-powered platform.

The platform managed an average response time of just 7 minutes and 41 seconds in Q4, a clear indication of AURA’s increased marketplace and response network.

Other key findings from AURA’s report show a concerning increase in both organised, syndicate crime and opportunistic crime. Myers notes that while syndicates are becoming even more sophisticated, a rise in opportunistic incidents is indicative of ongoing tough socio-economic conditions.

“The bottom line is that we need to make it far more difficult to be a successful criminal regardless of the crime, says Meyers.

“This will require building and integrating technologies that criminals simply cannot avoid or outsmart. These technologies are here in AURA, and it is extremely exciting to put them to effective use for everyone’s benefit.”

Read more: MultiChoice leads R62m AURA funding round 

Featured image by RODNAE/Pexels

Lindsey Schutters


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