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

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

Recent data from Numbeo has revealed that five South Africa cities rank among the top ten globally for the highest crime rates.

These cities, Pietermaritzburg, Pretoria, Durban, Johannesburg, and Port Elizabeth, are plagued by various crimes, including violent offenses such as murder and assault, as well as property crimes like burglary and theft.

Several factors contribute to the high crime rates in these cities. These include socioeconomic disparities, with high levels of poverty and unemployment creating fertile ground for criminal activities.

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

Inefficient policing and corruption within law enforcement further undermine crime prevention efforts, eroding community trust and leading to underreporting of crimes. Gang violence, particularly prevalent in these cities, exacerbates safety concerns, with gangs controlling neighbourhoods through intimidation and violence.

Additionally, inadequate social services, including limited access to education, healthcare, and housing, contribute to social instability and drive some individuals towards criminal behaviour.

The impact of these high crime rates is profound, affecting residents’ daily lives and overall well-being.

Lenience, a guard who survived a recent hijacking, says “as a human being I’m scared” and that he prays each morning to survive the day.

“I might not come back – but that’s life for everyone in CIT,” he says, not wishing to use his second name, he told BBC.

Communities often live in fear, which compromises their quality of life and poses economic challenges as businesses face theft and vandalism, deterring investment and hindering economic growth.

Read also: Corruption Index: Nigeria’s rating improves, ranks 145

Bheki Cele, Former Minister of Police of South Africa recently released the crime statistics for the third quarter of the financial year 2023/24, covering the period from October 1, 2023, to December 31, 2023.

During this time, crimes were detected by police officers and reported by victims to all 1,163 police stations across the country.

Notable arrests during the festive period include 32,229 suspects for common assault and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, 4,882 suspects for murder and attempted murder, and 4,783 suspects for sexual offenses such as rape and attempted rape.

Additionally, 6,383 individuals were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, 3,747 suspects were apprehended for dealing with drugs, and 16,942 suspects were arrested for drug possession.

According to the BBC, violent crime is soaring in South Africa, with security van heists becoming commonplace and the murder rate at a 20-year high, posing a serious issue for the government and citizens.

Despite efforts to address crime, the detection rates have fallen drastically, and the prevalence of private security highlights the public’s lack of trust in the police.

Read also: Nigeria remains high in global terrorism index ranking 2024

Bheki Cele accepts there’s a big issue, stating that violent crime rates are “not pleasing at all.”

He insists the government are getting “on top of things,” emphasizing that crime is “an international phenomenon.” He cited the recent robbery of West Ham football player Kurt Zouma in the UK to illustrate that “violent crime happens in every country.”

However, violent crime levels in South Africa are very high by international standards.

In South Africa’s current state of insecurity, the wave of violence will not be quickly turned back.

Here are 10 cities in the world with high crime index mid-year 2024

  1. Pietermaritzburg, South Africa: Crime index 82.5
  2. Pretoria, South Africa: Crime index81.9
  3. Caracas, Venezuela: Crime index81.7
  4. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea: Crime index 80.9
  5. Johannesburg, South Africa: Crime index80.8
  6. Durban, South Africa: Crime index 80.6
  7. Port Elizabeth, South Africa: Crime index 77.7
  8. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Crime index77.5
  9. Salvador, Brazil: Crime index 76.6
  10. Memphis, TN, United States: Crime index 76.5