South Africa Crime Rate Lowest in Over a Decade

South Africa Crime Rate Lowest in Over a Decade

Crime in South Africa is the lowest in over a decade, according to the IHS Crime Index, which tracks crime worldwide. Violent crime has decreased 40 percent in the last decade, and property crime has gone down by 24 percent during that same period.

The IHS index tracks statistics and compares different localities within countries as well. It breaks statistics down into violent offenses, including murder and rape, and property crimes such as burglary and arson, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch.

For example, overall crime is 10 percent higher in Cape Town than in Johannesburg. The safest metropolitan area is Tchwane in Gauteng. The most dangerous is a new area, Mangaung in Free State, where the rate is nearly twice the country’s average rate.

“It is gratifying that an internationally recognized, credible, and globally-respected institution has now affirmed the fact that crime is decreasing in South Africa,” remarked Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa in a report on SABC.

The SA Police Service regularly reports statistics and has itself shown a steady decrease in overall crime. Although they reported a 6 percent increase in murders last month, and a 6.5 percent increase in attempted murders, these figures over the past decade show a steady decline.

“Since 1994, we have been making steady progress,” Mthethwa said. “This period has been characterised by growing unity in action against crime, a period focused on improving life conditions for all, especially the poor.”

David Wilson, a senior analyst for IHS, explained their methodology. “The IHS Crime Index adjusts all crimes for the size of the population in each area, and then weights (the) categories according to the seriousness of each offense. Finally, crimes are combined into a single index figure, which is useful for comparisons over time and across regions,” Wilson said, according to the Market Watch report.

IHS is headquartered in Englewood, CO.