Well-heeled suburbanites ‘not main victims of crime’

2014-09-26 00:00

THE perception that wealthy suburban residents are the predominant victims of violent crime is incorrect, according to the Institute of Security Studies (ISS).

And murders in the middle to upper income areas were more often linked to household robberies and “contract killings” as opposed to drug- and alcohol-fuelled incidents in informal settlements and low-income social housing complexes.

ISS researcher Lizette Lancaster said affluent areas managed to “control the likelihood” of crime by taking measures to mitigate against risk such as private security.

Her comments come after the re-release of the provincial crime statistics for 2013/2014 after the initial release showed massive anomalies in a host of crimes including sexual offences and stock theft.

Lancaster said poorer residents living in “harsh conditions” felt the “brunt” of most crimes at their homes with little more than a door to protect them. “The perception that affluent areas are at greater risk of crime is incorrect. Often in poorer areas crimes go unreported. In fact there are more street robberies than house robberies and the former is often perpetrated against people who use public transport.”

She said KwaZulu-Natal’s murder rate of 34/100 000, like much of the country, was much higher than the global average of 6/100 000. The province was third to the Eastern and Western Cape respectively, although KZN topped the country’s list of the actual number of murders at 3 625.

“Previous research indicates that 65% of all murders are interpersonal conflict while about 16% are driven by robbery.”

She said in mixed income precincts crime will invariably happen in “pockets” and “not spread” and the affected areas are areas with “a high influx of people, poor, tough conditions and often fuelled by drugs and alcohol”. “You are safer in your fancy car and secure estate even though people don’t perceive this to be the case. Having private security gives a person a sense of trying to control the perception that they may be a victim of crime.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.