Crime and fear

5 Aug 2019

In July 2019, Survey Warehouse, Afrobarometer's national partner in Namibia, launched a weekly series of brief newspaper columns based on Round 7 survey findings and designed to raise awareness of issues that may have a bearing on voters and parties leading up to the November general election.


Namibia is considered a safe country, but how do Namibians perceive and experience crime?

Those never feeling unsafe in their neighborhood decreased from 68% (2011) to 56% (2017). Similarly, those who felt always unsafe increased from 6% to 11%. In 2003, 76% never feared crime in their own homes; in 2017 that number decreased to 66%.

Namibians’ actual experiences with crime don’t fully correlate with their perceptions. Those who had something stolen from their homes remained constant at 33% (2014 and 2017). It is 3% higher than in 2003, and 13% higher than in 2012 (see below).

In 2017, 16% reported personal attacks; yet 55% felt that personal safety was (much) better than a few years ago.

Of greater concern is that 54% of Namibians think it is not at all likely or not very likely that the police will take action when a crime is reported (see graph below). In 2017, 15% showed “no trust at all” in the police at all and 20% “just a little.”

Perceptions on crime are a mixed bag: Fear of crime is greater than actual experiences and is on the increase. Who is going to address these fears?


Produced by Survey Warehouse and first published in Republikein, Allgemeine Zeitung, and Namibian Sun newspapers.

All survey data used is sourced from Afrobarometer’s pan-African series of national public attitude surveys on democracy, governance, and society. For more details, please visit