Thanks to the 2017/18 crime statistics that were revealed on Tuesday, we now have a clearer picture of why and how South African children are kidnapped. When it is considered that a child goes missing every 5 hours in SA, it is best to have as much information as possible
It will never be understood by parents why anyone would want to take and harm their children, perhaps this knowledge could help prevent it from happening.
It was found that in most of the kidnapping cases recorded by the police, the perpetrator was known to the victim and sometimes their family too.
How are our children kidnapped?
Children are either groomed by a perpetrator or snatched. Grooming can include anything from becoming a child's friend online to making friends in person. Snatching can happen almost anywhere and at any time.
The SAPS stats show that there are 4 methods are used when a child is snatched:
- Verbal threats
- Physical force
- Sharp objects and other tools
Why are our children kidnapped?
The stats indicated that there are 9 main reasons children are kidnapped:
- Sexual offences
- Mob justice
- Domestic violence
- Labour related
- Taxi related
- Unknown motivation
In most cases, sexual offences and jealously is cited as the motive for child kidnappings but a large number of kidnappings have no identified motive.
Who is kidnapping our children?
There are individuals who prey on children and they could be anywhere. There are unstructured and structured networks that focus on kidnapping children. Nigerian networks are very prominent, as well as those connected Thailand, China, Russia and Bulgaria.
What can parents do to keep their children safe?
Parents are urged to teach their children to stay vigilant and be careful around strangers. If a person makes them uncomfortable, they should not worry about their manners and scream, shout or kick if necessary.
Parents must remain vigilant as well and report any suspicious behaviour or incidents.
Here's a pictured breakdown of the kidnapping stats released by SAPS:
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