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4 Nov, 2013

South African Crime at Lowest Levels in 15 Years, Says IHS Crime Index


LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–October 31, 2013 — The IHS Crime Index has found that crime in South Africa is at its lowest level in 15 years. IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS), the leading global source of information and analytics, reveals key findings from this edition of the index below.

Crime in South Africa's Provinces (Graphic: Business Wire)

Key findings:

1. The most dangerous metro is the new metro of Mangaung in Free State with a crime index of 180, making it 1.7 times more dangerous than the nation’s average.

2. The safest metropolitan is Tshwane in Gauteng with a crime index of 101, which is 3% safer than the nation’s average.

3. The Limpopo Local Municipality of Blouberg has the lowest consistent level of crime in the whole country. Crime in Blouberg is four times lower than Tshwane.

4. The Western Cape Local Municipality of Beaufort West has the highest consistent level of crime in South Africa. Beaufort West Residents experience six times the level of crime than residents of Limpopo province, and nine times the level of crime than residents of Blouberg.

5. Capetonians are much more likely to be victims of crime than Johannesburgers. Cape Town has a crime index of 140, compared to that of Johannesburg at 125. In other words, the total crime level in Johannesburg is roughly 10% lower than Cape Town.

“Being able to analyse trends in crime statistics is important. Unfortunately, spotting these trends has always been a difficult task,” said IHS senior analyst David Wilson. “The methodology of the IHS Crime Index adjusts all crimes for the size of the population in each area, and then weights crime categories according to the seriousness of each offence. Finally, crimes are combined into a single index figure, which is useful for comparisons over time and across regions. The completed IHS Crime Index makes the analysis of the crime trends possible,” Wilson said.

The IHS Crime Index is divided into two further indices: the violent crime index, and the property crime index. Property crime involves acts against one’s property, such as burglary and arson. Violent crime refers to crimes such as murder and rape. The decline in overall crime in South Africa has been echoed in both indices, reporting a steady decline since 2002. Violent crime is at the lowest level seen in a decade, declining some 40% between 2002 and 2013. Property crime experienced a decrease of 24% over the same period. The declining crime rates reflect the overall improvement of conditions in South Africa.

About the IHS Crime Index

The IHS Crime Index was developed and is maintained by a team based in South Africa. The data is continuously updated and released at the end of each quarter throughout the year. The data behind the crime index is supplied by the South African Police Service (SAPS), which includes all reported crimes in the nation.