n SA Crime Quarterly - Is South Africa really the world's crime capital? : puzzling statistics

Volume 2005, Issue 11
  • ISSN : 1991-3877



Since the 1990s, South Africa has developed a reputation for being 'the crime capital of the world'. We believe, in other words, that crime levels here are at least as high, but usually higher, than those with which the rest of humanity must contend. This consensus is a staple of dinner party conversation, punditry and political contestation, and has become so entrenched that arguments to the contrary often come across as either disrespectful of crime victims or as politically unctuous. But is this notion empirically true? Any openminded reading of the existing data suggests that the answer to this question must be tentative and provisional.

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