Safe and unsafe hot spots in SA

2013-09-23 08:00

City Press can today reveal the most – and least – likely places to fall victim to crime in South Africa, thanks to the latest available census data per police precinct.

The SA Police Service (SAPS) does not release data on crime rates at police station ­level.

It only releases the total number of crimes reported per category.

Yet the crime rate, which is the number of particular crimes occurring in a particular area in relation to the population living within a police station’s jurisdiction, is the only measure by which it is possible to establish the likelihood of falling victim to a crime within a particular area.

Estimates of police-precinct populations available to Media24 Investigations indicate that the number of people living within one police station’s jurisdiction varies enormously, from as little as a few hundred in the case of OR Tambo International Airport’s police station, to more than 300?000 in the case of Thohoyandou and Tembisa police stations.

Furthermore, the crime rate per population cannot be calculated using any data publicly available from government, as police stations’ jurisdictions do not conform to the borders of local municipalities, which form the basis of the census data gathered in 2011.

To overcome this hurdle, Media24 Investigations approached demographics and ­geography consultants AfricaScope to estimate the population per police station, using geographic data and the latest ­available census data for South ­Africa from Census 2011.

This was fed into a database, along with the 2012/13 crime statistics released on Thursday in order to arrive at the data reported here.

This is why our top 10 police stations for violent crimes such as murder, carjacking and sex crimes do not necessarily agree with those listed by the SAPS in its crime-statistics presentation.

Most dangerous police districts

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