Most South Africans don’t feel safe

 ·28 Sep 2015

South Africa has placed among the worst countries in the world for giving citizens a sense of safety, according to a new index.

The Gallup Global Law and Order Report for 2015 ranks South Africa 138th out of 141 countries for its capacity to maintain law and order.

The Index gauges people’s sense of personal security in their daily lives, as well as their personal experiences with crime and law enforcement.

It’s based off three survey questions, which were presented to over 142,000 people in 141 countries (at least 1,000 adults were interviewed per country).

The questions asked, were:

  • In the city or area where you live, do you have confidence in the local police force?
  • Do you feel safe walking alone at night in the city or area where you live?
  • Within the last 12 months, have you had money or property stolen from you or another household member?

According to the report, globally, at least 60% of people have confidence in their police force, while 63% of people feel safe walking alone at night. Around 15% of people said they had something stolen from them in the past year.

In comparison, of the South Africans surveyed, less than a third of people (31%) said they felt safe in the country.

Sub-Saharan Africa is the second-least safest region, with an index score of 60 (up one point from 2014’s report) – placing above the Latin America and Caribbean region, which was down a point to 55.

Southeast Asia remained the safest region in the world at 79 (down one point), just above the USA and Canada at 78 (also down one point).

The Middle East and North Africa saw the biggest improvement in safety since 2014, with its regional index score climbing from 65 to 73 over the measured period.

Top countries for law and order

# Country Score
1 Singapore 89
2 Uzbekistan 88
3 Hong Kong 87
4 Indonesia 87
5 Switzerland 86
6 Norway 85
7 Canada 85
8 Tajikstan 84
9 Georgia 84
10 Denmark 84

Bottom countries for law and order

# Country Score
141 Liberia 40
140 Venezuela 42
139 Congo 43
138 South Africa 46
137 Paraguay 46
136 South Sudan 50
135 Gabon 50
134 Botswana 50
133 Bolivia 51
132 Afghanistan 52

Police Minister Nkosinathi Khleko is expected to present the South African crime stats to a Parliamentary committee on Tuesday (29 Spetember).

According to reports, the statistics are expected to show an increase in rape, murder, robbery and hijacking in the country.

South Africa is one of the most dangerous countries in the world, with the 8th highest murder rate, globally, at a rate of 31 murders per 100,000 people.

In a report by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), the Global Peace Index ranked South Africa as the 15th most unsafe country in the world.

According to the IEP, the total economic impact of violence containment in South Africa is $66.7 billion (R830 billion), or $1,258 (R15,656) per person, or 10% of the country’s GDP as a whole.

More on South Africa

South Africa is one of the most violent and unsafe countries in the world

World’s most violent cities: SA getting worse

The worst crime hot spots in South Africa

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