It is unclear who the criminals are, with some South Africans believing that violent crime and robberies are the work of illegal foreigners from other African countries.
Burger says there has been no formal study into this allegation, with no information from the authorities. The issue has been raised, but the general feeling is one of "let's not go there", with racism and xenophobia being feared. In fact, the xenophobia issue tragically spilled over into violence during May 2008 when foreign nationals were targeted, attacked and in many cases killed. However, the majority of South Africans condemned the brutality.
Some 29% of South Africans personally knew someone who made a living from crime, according to the National Victims of Crime Survey 2003. Most people says crime was committed by people from their communities. Only 4% thought that foreigners were responsible.
But according to Burger, poverty is one of the main causes of crime. The SAPS report backs this up. There is rapid urbanisation, with migration into cities from rural areas and across the country's borders. Towns and cities don't have the infrastructure to deal with this influx, and squatter camps sprout up.
People live in dire conditions; there is 80% to 90% unemployment and residents' basic needs are not met. These people are not criminally minded, but are forced to steal to satisfy their basic needs. Their desperation also leads to substance abuse, and the subsequent rise in contact crimes in these areas.
The Youth Victimisation Study found that one in two young people personally knew someone in their community who committed crime, while one in four knew someone who made their living from crime. Almost one in two personally knew someone who was in prison or who had been in jail for crime.
About 17% of offenders in the Childline offender programme (a rehabilitation project) are paedophiles; other sexual assaults of children are the result of other impulses - many are by men who are simply sexually irresponsible, says Van Niekerk. She adds that there are also beliefs that sex with a virgin makes you a man, gets rid of HIV infection, makes you rich,