PORT-OF-SPAIN, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO- Crime is a global issue that affects every country in the world. While some countries have lower crime rates than others, there are still nations that struggle with high levels of criminal activity.
The World Population Review, which tracks crime in various forms, expressed per 100,000 people globally ranked Venezuela on top, Papua New Guinea, South Africa, Afghanistan, Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, El Salvador, Brazil, and Jamaica.
The crime index rate in Venezuela is 83.76, the highest in the world. According to the U.S. Department of State, Venezuela is a Level 4 travel advisory, which indicates that traveling there is unsafe. Crime in Venezuela is attributed to a number of factors, including government corruption, a flawed judiciary system, and a breakdown of the rule of law.
2. Papua New Guinea (80.79)
The crime index rate in Papua New Guinea is 80.79. Violent crime is primarily fueled by rapid changes in social and economic conditions. Small and large-scale criminal activity is carried out by Raskol gangs, consisting primarily of members with little education and few work opportunities. In major cities, organized crime is also prevalent in the form of corruption, resulting in a high crime rate. Papua New Guinea’s geography makes it an attractive destination for drug and human trafficking.
3. South Africa 76.86)
The crime index rate in South Africa is 76.86. Compared to other countries, South Africa has a notably high rate of assaults, rapes, homicides, and other violent crimes. Poverty, inequality, unemployment, social exclusion, and the normalization of violence have been cited as factors contributing to this trend. South Africa has one of the highest rates of rape in the world. The South African Medical Research Council surveyed more than 1 in 4 men who admitted to rape.
4. Afghanistan (76.31)
The crime index rate in Afghanistan is 76.31. A variety of crimes are present here, including corruption, assassinations/contract killings, drug trafficking, kidnappings, and money laundering. As of 2020, Afghanistan supplied 85% of all illicit opium worldwide. Afghanistan’s Taliban government, which regained control in 2021, has pledged to eradicate the opium industry, but it is so integral to the country’s economy that it will be difficult. Many of the country’s crimes, such as robbery and assault, are fueled by widespread unemployment.
5. Honduras (74.54)
The crime index rate in Honduras is 74.54. Homicides peaked in Honduras in 2012, when gangs such as Barrio 18 and Mara Salvatrucha committed about 20 murders each day. Additionally, Honduras serves as a major drug route into the United States. A lack of domestic law enforcement has made the country an easy entry point for illegal drugs. Honduras has been issued a Level 3 travel advisory by the U.S. Department of State, advising travelers not to travel there.
6. Trinidad and Tobago (71.63)
The crime index rate in Trinidad and Tobago is 71.63. There are several challenges that the government faces when it comes to reducing crime, such as bureaucratic resistance to change, gang activity, drugs, economic recession, and an overburdened legal system. As a result of drug trafficking and gang-related activities, there is also a strong demand for illegal weapons. Level 2 travel advisories are in effect for Trinidad and Tobago, which means travelers should exercise increased caution. Pickpocketing, assault, theft, and fraud are commonly experienced by visitors.
7. Guyana (68.74)
In Guyana, the crime index rate is 68.74, a murder rate four times higher than in the United States. Despite strict licensing requirements, criminals often use weapons. Since domestic violence laws are weakly enforced in Guyana, domestic violence occurs frequently. The Georgetown area is also prone to armed robberies. In addition, tourists are often the victims of hotel break-ins, robberies, and assaults.
8. El Salvador (67.79)
The crime index rate in El Salvador is 67.79. Its two largest gangs, MS-13 and Barrio 18, contribute greatly to social violence. Approximately 25,000 gang members are at large in El Salvador, 9,000 are in prison, and about 60,000 young people are involved in youth gangs. In some cases, gangs have also cultivated territorial disputes with drug traffickers. Aside from gangs, low wages and high unemployment rates in El Salvador have pushed families into marginalized areas. Among property crimes, robbery, theft, and vehicle theft are the most prevalent.
9. Brazil (67.49)
The crime index rate in Brazil is 67.49. The homicide rate in Brazil in 2020 was 23.6 per 100,000 people, compared to 30.8 in previous years. A major problem in Brazil is organized crime, which has expanded in recent years, and violence between rival groups is common. Brazil is plagued by drug trafficking, corruption, and domestic violence.
10. Jamaica (67.42)
Finishing the top ten list of countries with the highest crime rates is Jamaica, with a crime index rate of 67.42. The country has a high rate of government corruption, gang activity, and violent crime, including sexual assault. The U.S. Overseas Security Advisory Council describes Jamaica’s police force as understaffed and under-resourced. It is highly recommended that travelers avoid Spanish Town as well as parts of Kingston and Montego Bay.
Factors Contributing to High Crime Rates
It is important to note that crime rates can be impacted by a range of factors, including poverty, inequality, political instability, and drug trafficking, among others.
Countries like South Sudan, Yemen, and Syria, also have high crime rates due to ongoing conflicts and political instability. South Sudan had a score of 78.9, while Yemen and Syria had scores of 76.3 and 75.9, respectively.