Urbanisation leads to higher crime numbers
Crime has been on the increase in the world's cities and now has affectedmore than half of urban residents in developing countries, UN-Habitat, the UNagency for human settlements, said in a report. The report ‘Enhancing urbansafety’ found that global crime rates increased by some 30 per cent between 1980and 2000, the equivalent of more than 3,000 extra crimes per 100,000 people.
In the last five years, 60 per cent of city residents in developing countrieshave fallen victim to crime, the report said, attributing the trend mainly torapid and chaotic urbanisation. "Urban violence and crime are increasingworldwide, giving rise to widespread fear and driving away investment in manycities," said UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon.
This is especially true in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. In LatinAmerica, where 80 per cent of the population is urban, the rapidly expandingcities of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Mexico City and Caracas account for morethan half of violent crimes in the respective countries.
The UN report noted, however, that there was a decline in urban violence inNorth America and Western Europe. Still, more than half of urban residents inboth rich and poor countries worry about crime “all the time” or “very often”.
By: Bart Nijhof,