Mother City crime worse than terror - Times LIVE
Fri Mar 24 08:13:23 SAST 2017

Mother City crime worse than terror

Nivashni Nair | 2015-11-23 00:09:32.0
Residents walk through shacks in Cape Town's Khayelitsha township. File photo
Image by: MIKE HUTCHINGS / REUTERS

More people are killed in Cape Town than in cities with the highest terrorism death rates, according to the latest Global Terrorism Index.

The index, which measures the scale and impact of terrorism, has cited Cape Town murder rates among the top 10 cities in the world. It says murder rates are more than double the death rate in cities with the highest terrorism deaths.

But local experts say the figures are flawed because crime and terrorism cannot be compared.

To compare terrorism with other forms of violence the Institute for Economics and Peace analysed data from 2000 to 2014.

"Although terrorism is undoubtedly a major safety and security concern, there are other forms of violence that result in more deaths globally.

"The global homicide rate is 13 times the global terrorism rate, with 437000 people dying from homicides compared with 3685 from terrorism," the report said.

The deadliest city in the world, as far as terrorism is concerned, is the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, with 2454 deaths last year.

South Africa was ranked 38th out of 164 countries on the index.

Unisa criminology professor Anthony Minnaar said terrorism and crime were "completely different" and should not be compared since one city might be in a high-crime country, while the other could be in a conflict or war situation".

Manager of the Institute of Security Studies' crime and justice hub Lizette Lancaster said while the index provided useful insights into the drivers of terrorism and extremism, it should not be used to compare city-level non-terrorist murder rates.

She said even the best sources for comparative international homicide statistics cautioned against such comparisons especially at a city level.

Lancaster said many nations did not keep national crime statistics, "let alone accurate or reliable city-level statistics".

"If they did South African cities might not have been included.

"South Africa ranks favourably when compared with, not only Latin American nations, but also Caribbean and African countries.

"In most, if not all, of these nations, city-level crime data are not published," she said.

The drivers of homicide and the solutions of those problems, varied greatly from country to city and to neighbourhood.

"Many areas in Cape Town, such as Rondebosch, Sea Point and Simon's Town, have either zero homicide rates or rates well below the international norm of 6.2 homicides per 100000 people.

"Other areas, such as Nyanga and Philippi, have a rate above 130 homicides per 100000," she said.

Releasing national crime statistics in September, the SA Police Service said Nyanga, Gugulethu, Delft, Mfuleni, Khayelitsha, Harare, Kraaifontein and Mitchells Plain were among the 10 precincts with the highest murder rates in South Africa.

There were 17805 murders in the South Africa last year with 3186 in the Western Cape.

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