South Africa has notably high crime rates compared to most countries in Africa and the world. The rate of violent crimes such as rape assaults and murders continues to increase. According to data from the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, which was contracted by the government of South African to carry out a study on the nature of the crime, there were more than 20,000 murders in 2017. This is a 7% increase compared to statistics from the previous year. This essay presents data and information on current crime in the country, most common crimes and also discusses reasons as to the increase in the crime rates.
Crime levels in South Africa have increased as a result of different factors. To begin with, the country faces the challenge of the normalization of violence. Most people in the country resolve conflicts through violence (Holtmann & Domingo-Swarts, 2008). Violence is viewed as necessary and justified while solving conflicts especially marital conflicts. The society values and norms allow men to portray coercive sexual behavior against women. Secondly, young people are exposed to risk factors thus increasing their vulnerability to being linked with criminal acts and practices. There are high poverty levels, unstable living arrangements, and uncaring parenting. These factors among others have increased the vulnerability of young people to crime (Writer, 2019). Thirdly, the criminal justice system is inefficient. Corruption is rampant therefore reducing the impacts on the efforts of various government agencies in the fight to eradicate crimes in the country.
There are high levels of unemployment, marginalization, inequality, and poverty in the nation. A high unemployment rate means that most of the population cannot afford basic needs and thus have to turn to crime to provide these basic needs. Marginalization implies that some groups in the country are considered for job opportunities leaving other groups oppressed and thus result to crime as comfort and way of payback against their oppressions ("Can South Africa be compared to a 'war zone'?", 2019). There exists a subculture of violence and criminality among many people in the country. More formalized gangs involved in crimes are involved in the subculture of crime which they view as careers (Writer, 2019). Most crimes conducted by these formalized gangs use firearms commonly; however, statistics show that in Cape Town knife violence cases are higher than gun violence cases.
The recent crime rate statistics from the South African Police Service can be used to point out the most common crimes that occur in the country. The most common crimes are drug-related crimes. These include offenses relating to possession, manufacturing, and distribution of drugs ("Can South Africa be compared to a 'war zone'?", 2019). Drug-related crimes are most common in Western Cape, Gauteng, and KwaZulu Natal. Over the past decade, statistics show that drug-related crimes have been on the rise. Burglary at residential premises in the other common crime in the country with approximately over 625 cases being reported per day. Assault cases with intent to cause grievous bodily harm (GBH) crimes almost occur 458 times a day (Writer, 2019). Other common crimes in the county include robbery with aggravating circumstances, common assault cases malicious injury to property, motor vehicle theft cases, murder, and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol among others (Writer, 2019).
In conclusion, crime rates have been on the rise in the past decade. Despite the various efforts by the South African government to reduce crime, the government has been criticized for doing little to stop crime. The government has tried to implement the National Crime Prevention Strategy with an aim to prevent crime through strengthening community structures to reduce crimes. However, these attempts have been faced with challenges, and the government is yet to implement an effective strategy.
Can South Africa be compared to a 'war zone'?. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-45547975
Holtmann, B., & Domingo-Swarts, C. (2008). Current trends and responses to crime in South Africa. Crime, Violence, and Injury Prevention in South Africa.
Writer, S. (2019). South Africa crime stats 2018: everything you need to know. Retrieved from https://businesstech.co.za/news/government/270689/south-africa-crime-stats-2018-everything-you-need-to-know/Writer, S. (2019).
The ten most common crimes in South Africa - and where they're most likely to happen. Retrieved from https://businesstech.co.za/news/lifestyle/271455/the-10-most-common-crimes-in-south-africa-and-where-theyre-most-likely-to-happen/
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