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Pretoria - Tshwane is the safest metro in South Africa, according to the IHS Global Insight crime index released this week.
The index, which used statistics from the SAPS, said the Mangaung metro in the Free State was the most dangerous. People in Cape Town are also more likely to be victims of serious crime than those in Joburg.
“Being able to analyse trends in crime statistics is important. Unfortunately, spotting these trends has always been a difficult task,” said IHS senior analyst David Wilson.
“The methodology of the IHS Crime Index adjusts all crimes for the size of the population in each area, then weights crime categories according to the seriousness of each offence.
“Finally, crimes are combined into a single index figure, which is useful for comparisons over time and across regions. The completed IHS crime index makes the analysis of the crime trends possible,” he said.
The crime index is divided into two other indices - a violent crime index, and a property crime index. Property crime involves acts against one’s property, such as burglary and arson. Violent crime refers to crimes such as murder and rape.
According to the index, the safest metro is Tshwane with a crime index of 101, which is 3 percent safer than the national average. The index put Joburg’s crime rate at 10 percent lower than Cape Town’s.
The index also found crime in the country was at its lowest in 15 years. The decline in overall crime in South Africa has been echoed in both indices, reporting a steady decline since 2002.
“Violent crime is at the lowest level seen in a decade, declining some 40 percent between 2002 and 2013. Property crime showed a decrease of 24 percent over the same period.
“The declining crime rates reflect the overall improvement of conditions in South Africa,” it stated.
Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa said the index vindicated the government’s national crime statistics that were released in September.
He said that while many local analysts were sceptical in their analysis of the statistics, it was gratifying that an internationally-recognised body affirmed the decrease in crime locally.
The SAPS statistics released last month showed a 6-percent rise in the number of murders in the past financial year but that they were down by 16.6 percent over the past four years, and 27.2 percent over the past nine years.
The statistics showed there was also a 6.5 percent increase in attempted murder in 2012/13. This was in contrast to a 16.8 percent decline over the past four years and a 51.7 percent decline over the past nine years.
“Since 1994, we’ve been making steady progress in the fight against crime. This period has been characterised by growing unity in action against crime,” Mthethwa said.
“As part of our approach in reducing crime, we recognised that keeping our country safe could not be achieved if we operated in silos. That is why we adopted a multi-pronged approach in the fight against crime, underpinned by the involvement of communities, business, civic organisations, labour movements and other stakeholders.
“The IHS Crime Index serves as a great motivation to many hardworking police men and women, who, against all odds, still continue to serve with dedication. Whatever the challenges, nothing will deter these collective efforts between the police and many law-abiding citizens in the quest towards crime reduction,” he said.