Blacks fear crime more than whites

2010-12-04 14:34
Johannesburg - Whites are less fearful of crime and suffer fewer robberies than their black counterparts, a survey released on Friday said.

In 2009, Brandon Huntley caused a racial furore when he was granted asylum by Canada, citing persecution from black criminals due to his skin colour.

However, a poll by the African democracy institute Idasa, an independent think tank which questioned 2 400 people in the past 12 months, found that 21% of whites expressed fear of crime, compared to 35% of blacks.

The survey asked them, "Over the past year, how often, if ever, have you or anyone in your family feared crime in your own home?"

It also said that while more than 25% of South Africans reported house robberies in the past year, whites (11%) were less likely than all other race groups to state they were frequent victims of theft from their home.

"These findings firmly contradict suggestions that whites experience more criminal victimisation than other groups," said Idasa.

The "findings in fact show that whites are not victims of crime to a greater extent than other population groups. Fear and experience of crime are actually lowest among whites," it said.

Official crime statistics show that about 46 murders are committed daily in South Africa. Idasa, however, did not question respondents on their fears of being killed.

According to the survey, poverty and living in cities had a significant influence on fear of crime, with the poor tending to be more fearful.

Canadian authorities overturned a contentious immigration ruling that granted Huntley refugee status.

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