Namibians feel unsafe

Namibia joins Afghanistan, Gabon, Venezuela, Liberia and South Africa on the latest ranking of the most unsafe countries.

28 October 2020 | Crime

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



Namibians polled by an international organisation say they do not feel safe walking the streets, while Namibia has once again been ranked as one of the worst countries when it comes to law and order.

The global polling group Gallup has published the results of its latest poll on crime and policing in 144 countries. Overall Namibia ranked 131st, with a law and order score of 63. This ranking made Namibia the 13th worst in the world and fourth worst in southern Africa.

In 2018 Namibia was ranked 119th, with a law and order score of 65.

Gallup's latest results are based on interviews with nearly 175 000 adults in the 144 countries and areas in 2019. The group asked people about the level of crime in their area, how safe they felt walking the streets and how much confidence they had in the police force.

Gallup then compiled the results into scores and created an index ranking each country by its overall law and order score.

“Gallup sees strong relationships between people's answers to questions about their own security and their own experiences with crime and law enforcement and external measures related to economic and social development,” the group said.

“These relationships illustrate how high crime rates can often suppress social cohesion and negatively affect economic performance.”

The lowest ranked countries on the index are Afghanistan, Gabon, Venezuela, Liberia and South Africa. The top performers are Singapore, Turkmenistan, China, Iceland and Kuwait.



Least safe

The report also says that Namibia is the seventh least safe country for people to walk home alone, with only 36% of people saying they feel safe doing so. Singapore at 98% is ranked the safest; Afghanistan at 12% is the least safe.

“Except for Afghanistan, the countries in which residents are least likely to say they feel safe walking alone at night are exclusively countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa.

“Eight of them also ranked among the least safe in 2018.

“The exceptions were Lesotho, which was not surveyed in 2018, and Namibia, which narrowly missed making the bottom of the list in 2018,” according to the report.

The Gallup poll is a perceptions index, an overview of what Namibians think and experience and although recent statistics have shown that during the lockdown crime rates dropped, Namibians have expressed concern regarding violent crimes against women that are on the increase. Statistics show that a total of 5 961 gender-based violence cases were reported nationally from September 2019 to September this year and 896 rape cases were reported.

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