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NCJ Number: 68100 Find in a Library
Title: CRIME IN SOUTH AFRICA - A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS
Journal: SOUTH AFRICAN JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL LAW AND CRIMINOLOGY  Volume:1  Dated:(1977)  Pages:71-92
Author(s): J MIDGLEY
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 22
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: South Africa
Annotation: CRIME IN SOUTH AFRICA IS COMPARED WITH THAT IN OTHER COUNTRIES IN TERMS OF THE TREND AND TYPES OF CRIMES, OF THE AGE, SEX, RACE, AND INCOME FACTORS, AND IN TERMS OF GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION.
Abstract: THE DEFINITION AND MEASUREMENT OF CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR VARIES FROM SOCIETY TO SOCIETY, AND, THEREFORE, STUDIES IN COMPARATIVE CRIMINOLOGY ARE HAMPERED. HOWEVER, GENERAL CONCLUSIONS ARE POSSIBLE. STATISTICS ON SOUTH AFRICAN CRIME WERE OBTAINED FROM THE REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE AND FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF STATISTICS. THESE INDICATE THAT IN SOUTH AFRICA, AS IN MOST OTHER COUNTRIES, CRIME HAS INCREASED STEADILY OVER THE YEARS. ALTHOUGH AN INTERNATIONAL COMPARISON OF TYPES OF CRIMES IS DIFFICULT, A COMPARISON OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN HOMICIDE RATE WITH THOSE OF OTHER NATIONS LISTED IN THE UNITED NATIONS DEMOGRAPHIC YEARBOOK REVEALS THAT THIS COUNTRY'S RATE IS SURPASSED ONLY BY THOSE IN CERTAIN AFRICAN AND SOUTH AMERICAN COUNTRIES. THE AGE OF MAXIMUM CRIMINALITY IS HIGHER IN SOUTH AFRICA THAN IN OTHER COUNTRIES. INVOLVEMENT IN CRIME DECLINES SHARPLY ONLY AFTER THE AGE OF 45. THE 25 TO 34 AGE CATEGORY HAS THE MOST CONVICTIONS, AND THE 18 TO 24 AGE CATEGORY FOLLOWS CLOSELY. ALTHOUGH THE OLDER GROUP COMPROSES ONLY 14 PERCENT OF THE POPULATION, IT ACCOUNT FOR 32 PERCENT OF ALL CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS. SOUTH AFRICA'S OVERALL CONVICTION RATIO OF APPROXIMATELY EIGHT MALES TO EVERY FEMALE CORRESPONDS TO THE RATIOS OBSERVED IN OTHER COUNTRIES. THE RATIOS VARY BETWEEN THE DIFFERENT RACIAL CATEGORIES IN SOUTH AFRICA: 15 TIMES AS MANY WHITE AND ASIAN MEN ARE PROSECUTED AS ARE WOMEN BUT ONLY 8 TIMES AS MANY COLORED AND AFRICAN MEN. FURTHERMORE, FEMALES ARE MORE OFTEN SENT TO PRISON THERE THAN IN OTHER COUNTRIES. RACIAL AND INCOME FACTORS ARE INTERRELATED IN SOUTH AFRICA BECAUSE SOCIAL STRATIFICATION IS BASED ON LEGALLY-SANCTIONED RACIAL CLASSIFICATIONS; EACH GROUP SHARES DIFFERENTIAL BENEFITS AND ACCESS TO RESOURCES AND OPPORTUNITIES. COLORED AND AFRICAN PEOPLES, WHO DO NOT ENJOY HIGH STANDARDS OF LIVING, HAVE THE HIGHEST CRIME RATES. THOSE OF LOW SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS IN INDUSTRIAL COUNTRIES ALSO HAVE HIGHER CRIME RATES. FINALLY, THE URBAN-RURAL DISTRIBUTION OF CRIME IN SOUTH AFRICA CONFORMS TO PATTERNS OBSERVED IN MOST OTHER COUNTRIES. ALTHOUGH ONLY 47.9 PERCENT OF SOUTH AFRICA'S POPULATION RESIDES IN URBAN AREAS, 78 PERCENT OF ALL CRIMES ARE COMMITTED IN URBAN AREAS. FOOTNOTES WITH REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Crime patterns; Crime Rate; Crime rate studies; International crime statistics; South Africa; United Nations (UN)
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68100

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