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Africa’s top 10 cities with the most alarming crime rates in mid-2024

Africa’s top 10 cities with the most alarming crime rates in mid-2024

Crime is a global issue, but Africa faces unique challenges. Despite a large young population, unemployment, inflation, and high living costs lead to increased crime, particularly in urban areas.

Dense populations, poverty, and organised crime syndicates exacerbate the problem in cities.

In mid-2024, several African cities are facing significant challenges in terms of crime, with South African cities predominantly topping the list.

The crime index is a comprehensive measure that includes various factors such as safety, the prevalence of crime, and the effectiveness of law enforcement.

Read also: Five South Africa cities rank among top 10 for highest crime rates worldwide

According to Numbeo, here are the top 10 African cities with the highest crime index in mid-2024.

1. Pietermaritzburg, South Africa – Crime Index: 82.5

Pietermaritzburg has the highest crime index in Africa, reflecting severe issues with violent crime, property crime, and general public safety. Contributing factors include high unemployment rates, socio-economic disparities, and insufficient policing resources. Residents report frequent incidents of muggings, carjackings, and burglaries, making it one of the most dangerous cities in South Africa.

2. Pretoria, South Africa – Crime Index: 81.9

As the administrative capital of South Africa, Pretoria faces significant crime challenges. The city’s high crime index is driven by violent crimes such as armed robbery, assault, and homicides. Additionally, the prevalence of drug-related crimes and corruption within law enforcement agencies exacerbates the situation, undermining efforts to improve public safety.

Read also: See how high Nigeria ranks on 2024 crime index

3. Johannesburg, South Africa – Crime Index: 80.8

Johannesburg is plagued by high crime rates. The city’s crime issues are multifaceted, involving organized crime, gang violence, and widespread property crimes. The stark economic inequalities in Johannesburg contribute to the crime rate, as marginalized communities struggle with poverty and lack of opportunities.

4. Durban, South Africa – Crime Index: 80.6

Durban, a major port city, experiences a high crime rate, particularly in terms of violent crimes and drug-related offenses. The city’s crime index is influenced by gang activity, which is often linked to drug trafficking and territorial disputes. Additionally, car theft and home invasions are common, creating an atmosphere of insecurity for residents.

Read also: 10 least liveable cities in the world in 2024

5. Port Elizabeth, South Africa – Crime Index: 77.7

Port Elizabeth, a city with a rich history, is now grappling with significant crime problems. The high crime index is attributed to violent crimes, including armed robberies and assaults, as well as property crimes like burglaries and car thefts.

6. Cape Town, South Africa – Crime Index: 73.8

Cape Town, despite being a popular tourist destination, faces serious crime issues. The city’s crime index is driven by high rates of gang violence, drug-related crimes, and armed robberies. Inequality and poverty in various neighborhoods contribute to the prevalence of crime, and efforts to address these issues are often hampered by inadequate law enforcement and community resources.

Read also: UAE cities dominate list of world’s top 10 cities with lowest crime rates

7. Lagos, Nigeria – Crime Index: 68.4

Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city and economic powerhouse is also one of Africa’s most crime-ridden cities. The city’s high crime index is due to rampant street crime, including muggings and pickpocketing, as well as more serious offenses like armed robbery and kidnapping. Corruption within the police force and inefficient judicial processes further complicate efforts to reduce crime in Lagos.

8. Windhoek, Namibia – Crime Index: 67.3

Windhoek, the capital city of Namibia, has a high crime index primarily due to property crimes such as burglaries and car thefts. Violent crimes, including assaults and robberies, also contribute to the city’s crime rate. Socio-economic challenges and a growing population have strained law enforcement capabilities, making it difficult to maintain public safety.

Read also: See where Nigeria ranks among Africa’s 10 most dangerous countries

9. Harare, Zimbabwe – Crime Index: 61.3

Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, faces significant crime issues, particularly in terms of violent crime and property crime. Economic instability, high unemployment, and political turmoil contribute to the high crime index. Residents frequently report incidents of muggings, carjackings, and burglaries, and the police force often struggles with resource limitations and corruption.

10. Nairobi, Kenya – Crime Index: 59.5

Nairobi, Kenya’s capital and largest city, has a notable crime index driven by various factors. Street crime, including muggings and pickpocketing, is common, as are more severe crimes like armed robbery and carjacking. Socio-economic disparities, rapid urbanization, and inadequate law enforcement resources exacerbate the city’s crime problems, making public safety a significant concern for residents and visitors alike.