The 2017 State of Urban Safety in South Africa Report calls for cities to ensure that city
planning and delivery is ‘crime wise’. For example, cities must include safety
considerations when conceptualising and planning integrated public transport
In terms of general urban crime and safety trends, the analysis from the report indicates that key crime rates such as murder, attempted murder, robbery (residential and non-residential), and carjacking have been rising in all major metros since , despite long term downward trends since 1994.
|Nelson Mandela Bay||54||2015|
|Nelson Mandela Bay||43||2014|
|Nelson Mandela Bay||45||2013|
|Nelson Mandela Bay||43||2012|
|Nelson Mandela Bay||48||2011|
|Nelson Mandela Bay||45||2010|
|Nelson Mandela Bay||48||2009|
|Nelson Mandela Bay||55||2008|
|Nelson Mandela Bay||61||2007|
|Nelson Mandela Bay||73||2006|
|Nelson Mandela Bay||64||2005|
Today, the average South African is less than half as likely to be murdered than they were in 1994/1995, which is a major achievement. A few studies have examined the reasons for such a dramatic reduction in the murder rate between 1994/95 and 2011/12, and all conclude that it is primarily attributable to the introduction of more rigorous firearm controls with the Firearms Control Act (No. 60 of 2000), although causation could not be established (Abrahams et al., 2012; Matzopoulos et al., 2014). Further research in this area should be undertaken as a matter of priority.
Over the long term, eThekwini has seen the greatest decrease in murder rates since 2005/06, followed by Buffalo City and Msunduzi. The murder rates in the three Gauteng metros (Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and particularly Tshwane) have remained below the national average. In contrast, Cape Town has double the murder rate of the other cities and has seen its murder rate rise since 2009/10, increasing by 40% between 2011/12 and 2015/16.
Criminologists refer to ‘hotspots’ policing (Weisburd, 2008) or ‘placed-based’ policing (Beck and Lee, 2002), or ‘situational problem-oriented’ policing (Braga, 2005). These terms refer to when police put geographical areas with high concentrations of crime at the centre of their crime reduction strategies and practices, rather than focusing exclusively on victims and perpetrators (Tilley, 2012). In other words, police must identify places where priority crimes are clustered and then concentrate their resources within these clearly defined areas, rather than evenly distributing the resources over their entire territorial jurisdiction (Braga et al., 2011). The philosophy is that such a focused police deployment escalates the apprehension risk for potential criminals (Chainey and Ratcliffe, 2005), and therefore reducing crime in hotspots has the potential to reduce the overall crime rate (Nagin, 2010).
Generally, recreational parks are considered dangerous places, where informal workers, hawkers, waste collectors, unemployed youth and citizens, and criminal groups congregate and where people deal in drugs and engage in public drinking and gambling. This creates a perception of insecurity, particularly at night. Most respondents said they were afraid of walking to work/town, going to open spaces or parks, and walking to the shops in their area, in part because of drug-related issues, as “drug lords hang out” in the nearby park and the fear of being mugged by the “nyaope boys under the bridge”. Over two-thirds (67%) of respondents felt very unsafe walking at night. Double the number of respondents in Berea than in other areas felt very unsafe during the day. The most dangerous of the five areas were seen to be Hillbrow and Joubert Park.
Opinion - From the analysis within State of Urban Safety report it is clear to see that cities need to focus on hotspots to reduce the murder rates in South African Cities
For further on this topic: Read the full The State of Urban Safety in South Africa 2017 Report | Explore this data in SCODA | Download the full Urban Safety Dataset | Assumptions in this data | Methodology behind the statistics | Join the next Urban Safety Reference Event