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City authorities say a report ranking Cape Town among the 50 most violent cities in the world is “severely distorted”.
The report, by the Citizen Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice, a Mexican research NGO, ranks Cape Town as the world’s 34th most violent city in 2011.
This is in spite of the fact that no official crime statistics have been released for the 2011/12 financial year (April to March).
The report ranks Cape Town higher than Mosul in Iraq (44th), Durban (49th) and Joburg (50th).
The most violent city in the world, said the report, was San Pedro Sula in Honduras, followed by Ciudad Juarez in Mexico and Maceio in Brazil.
Five of the 10 most violent cities are Mexican. The others are in Latin America, Brazil, the US, South Africa and Iraq.
The council compiled its list by comparing every city with more than 300 000 residents for which homicide statistics were available on the internet.
San Pedro Sula had 159 murders per 100 000 residents, while Cape Town had 46, according to the report.
JP Smith, the city’s mayoral committee member for safety and security, said the report was “severely distorted” and the work of “panic-mongerers”.
“Only countries that keep accurate statistics can be compared,” said Smith. “This research and the methodology used has to be questioned.”
Senior crime researcher at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) Dr Johan Burger said it was “extremely difficult” to compare the crime statistics of cities and countries, as crimes were defined differently.
“It’s very difficult and risky to accurately analyse something like the most dangerous or violent city or country in the world.”
Lizette Lancaster, project manager of the ISS crime and justice hub, said East London had the country’s highest murder rate of 56.1 per 100 000 people last year.
Port Elizabeth had a rate of 49.4 and Cape Town’s was 45.9. “The safest metropolitan areas in relation to murder were Tshwane (22.9) followed by Johannesburg (29.5) and Ekurhuleni (34.6),” she said.
“Analyses of smaller localities reveal that there are substantial differences within provinces and cities.
“In the Cape Town metropolitan area, precincts such as Milnerton, Langa, Gugulethu, Harare, Nyanga, Delft and Mitchells Plain possess far higher murder rates than the tourist locations of Camps Bay and the city centre.”
Lancaster said travelling to an area with a high murder rate did not necessarily translate into a higher risk of being murdered.
“A 2009 SAPS internal docket analysis found that when it comes to murder, 80 percent of perpetrators are known to victims, most being relatives, friends or acquaintances of the victims,” she said.
“The study also showed that 65 percent of the murders occurred as a result of social behaviour, for instance domestic conflict and arguments associated with jealousy, alcohol and drug abuse.
“Only 16 percent of all murders were found to be the result of criminal behaviour such as a robbery.”
Cape Town Tourism spokeswoman Skye Grove said violent crime was “exceptionally high” in some parts of the city.
“In order for Cape Town to be a great place to visit, it should be a great place to live. For many citizens, this is not yet the case.”
email@example.com - Cape Argus
Why does everyone in the cape from the most affluent to the poorest on the cape flats live behind burglar bars and razorbarb fencing
vusie from johannesburg ( tembisa), wrote
You can be killed anywhere in the world if its your day to die, i think cape town is safe, i live in the township in joburg i found it safer because i'm discipline and i choose friends
Hi Clayton - Brazil is in Latin America: "Five of the 10 most violent cities are Mexican. The others are in Latin America, Brazil, the US, South Africa and Iraq." Regs
After the US, the SAPS are the next least corrupt police force on the list, so why are the Latin cities way ahead of SA's even with more corrupted data? That's interesting, and I think it puts our problems into perspective.
The fact that so many people wind up in the mortuary is indication enough that there's a serious problem!- Where the city is falls in a table is less important than better policing of those known hot-spots in an attempt to reduce those totally unacceptable numbers of murders
It is quite ironic how the majority of citizens of this country have a lot to say and rightly so about the crime rate and how it negatively impacts on their lives and the way they have to live and spend a fortune on security and insurance cover, in this so called democratic and new SA, where the government of the day cannot protect it's citizens from it's own citizens, and law enforcement and the rule of law is a lot to be desired. Yet let some foreign organisation, country or ex pat say something about the crime rate in SA whether it is totally true or not, then these same citizens become all defensive about the crime rate and portray this sense of political patriotism. The same applies with SA sports teams when they critised internally for performing badly, but let someone from outside criticize the team whether it is positive crititism or not, then all hell breaks loose.
What rubbish! I come from Pretoria and there's NO comparison. Do we REALLY need Mexican research?
I live in the states and just finished my 4th visit to SA this past August and I have NEVER felt unsafe anywhere I have gone in SA - of course you have to use common sense anywhere you go in the world, but I love to walk and went all over Cape Toen, even at night and always saw police officers on patrol...I will definitely be back!
Get Real, wrote
Instead of belly-aching about it and arrogantly seeking to rubbish the study, how about humbly admitting things aren't what they should be and then seek a real solution.
“Only countries that keep accurate statistics can be compared,” said Mr. JP Smith. So, is that the real reason that one cannot get hold of any statics?
More people die in SA than in countries at war like IRAQ!!! Eish ! @nevercominghome : you should do that exactly!
Ian Rhodes, wrote
Please let's stop this "my town's better than your town" childish nonsense. There is no absolutely safe town in South Africa, and instead of Cape Townians being outraged at this headline, we should ALL be outraged at the crime across the whole of South Africa. We would ALL be better off if we ALL focussed on doing something about getting rid of crime in our neighbourhoods instead of pontificating over statistics and comparing the fact that we only have an X% crime rate to anothers y%. As some wise person once said, (words to the effect), "you get lies, more damn lies and then statistics".
And why doesnt the DA release stats on time?are they trying to hide some bout their murder stats?
@brasco Er, maybe the crime rate is actually higher? That's something that could explain it...
Jozi Rox, wrote
Hahaha, but don't worry, you guys still have your mountain
What utter hogwash . Looks like the ANC have paid these boys to do a dirty on CT . What else explains this blatent rubbish ?
How can a person from the Eastern Cape be an immigrant in the Western Cape? The last time I checked, both Eastern Cape and Western Cape were provinces in South Africa. I am from KwaZulu Natal working in Johannesburg, am I also an immigrant? Just checking!
@nevercominghome Unfortunately, because it is DA run is exactly why there is this problem... And it can only get worse, a lack of understanding of South Africa is the DA's biggest shortcoming...
Ha! Ha! Cape Town is more dangerous than places that have wars going on... Gauteng rules!
Those in denial answer this question: How many brides are keen on going to Cape Town for honeymoon? And no, Im not staying away from Cape Town its in my country , infact I visit now and again to annoy the racists. Durban rocks!!!!