BCM has least murders but most sexual crimes
It also ranks worst among SA cities in terms of services deprivation
Of all nine metros in South Africa, Buffalo City has shown the longest and most sustained decrease in its murder rate.
But Buffalo City residents are also the unhappiest in the country when it comes to law enforcement, which is cause for alarm given that the metro ranks worst among South African cities for assault and sexual offences.
These are the findings of the 2018-19 State of Urban Safety in South Africa report, released by the SA Cities Network on Thursday.
While some of the findings are expected, East London residents are surprised by others.
The report comes as Buffalo City is once again on tenterhooks as a new crime wave swells in the city.
Mall robberies, beach muggings and smash-and-grabs in the CBD have spiked in March and April, prompting residents to demand that criminals are not only caught, but jailed.
The network comprises cities, their partners and various national government departments.
The urban safety study, being conducted for the third time, focused on the country’s nine metros, Buffalo City, Johannesburg, Cape Town, eThekwini, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB), Mangaung (Bloemfontein) and Msunduzi (Maritzburg).
It collated data from sources such as the police and Stats SA to gauge the state of crime, violence and safety.
The latest edition looked at crime trends over a 13-year period, starting in the 2005-2006 financial year. According to the report, in Buffalo City, murder has come down a whopping 40% in the last 10 years and 9% in the last year.
It now stands at 43 in every 100,000 people, as opposed to “murder capital” Cape Town’s 69 in every 100,000.While the metro still tops the country for the number of sexual offences and assault, recorded sexual offences did decrease by 24% in the last five years and 6% in the last year.In measuring residents’ satisfaction with law enforcement, the study included Stats SA’s National Victims of Crime Survey 2015-16, which looked at people who answered “yes” to the question of whether they were satisfied with the police services in their area.Among other key findings about Buffalo City are:
It records fairly high levels of robbery, which are about 40% higher than in Mangaung, but still lower than in NMB;
It ranks second behind Cape Town for non-violent property-related crime;
It ranks worst among the cities in terms of deprivation of services, second-to-last in youth unemployment, and third-to- last in both poverty and income inequality;
It ranks worst among the cities in terms of levels of informal housing;
Its indicator of access to alcohol, drugs and firearms as measured by the average of its recorded rates of drug-related crime, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, is the lowest among the cities.
Aggravated robbery has increased by 38% over the last 10 years and 4% in the last year – it is one of only two cities where aggravated robbery increased in the last year.Its recorded rates of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs have been trending downward for almost a decade, down 13% in the last 10 years, 42% in the last five, and 10% in the last year, suggesting that police have increasingly prioritised roadblock activities.Dr Lesley Ann Foster, the executive director of the East London-based Masimanyane Women’s Support Centre, said the high number of sexual offences could be directly linked to poverty and unemployment.“Sexual offences are high in high-density areas where there is a lot of unemployment.“It is also a fact that the status of women determines how much sexual violence she experiences, because of cultural, religious and traditional belief systems,” Foster said...