Rise in kidnapping cases could be a new criminal trend, say crime experts

Kidnapping expert Herman Bosman said that the spike in cases illustrates the desperation criminals are willing to resort to.

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CAPE TOWN - The latest crime statistics show that there were over 3,300 kidnappings reported in South Africa between the months of January and March this year.

That's an increase of 1,580 cases compared to the same period last year.

Kidnappings vary from victims who are abducted during a hijacking to people being taken in exchange for a ransom.

Crime experts say the rise in kidnapping cases indicates that it could be the new trend among criminals.

And while the South African Police Service has advised families not to pay any ransom for the release of loved ones, desperate family members tend to give in to the demands of criminals.

Kidnapping expert Herman Bosman said that the spike in cases illustrates the desperation criminals are willing to resort to.

"In the current economic conditions, the idea that it's a profitable business to kidnap and demand money, that's definitely fuelling this and there's been a lot of successes but we need to see more of that to curb this and to identify the perpetrators," Bosman said.

Bosman also added that curbing kidnappings, like any other crime, should not be the police's responsibility alone. He said that communities must also play their part in identifying the culprits.