Alcohol consumption as a factor in gun or knife crimes in South Africa
South Africa is one of the top ten alcohol-consuming countries in Africa. The South African government has undertaken multifaceted efforts to regulate alcohol consumption to address violent crime. Despite integrated regulation, the link between alcohol consumption and violent crime remains blurred and unclarified. The paper examines the significance of alcohol consumption in relation to violent crime victimization. The study utilized data obtained from the South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence and Behaviour Survey, 2012. Descriptive, inferential statistics and a factor analysis were used to measure the association between alcohol consumption and violent crime victimization. About 30% of the respondents had been a victim of violent crime where gun or knife was used in the past 12 months. Respondents indicated that 41.1% of the perpetrators were under the influence of alcohol; whereas 20.9% of the victims were under the influence of alcohol. Respondents who had drinking problems were more likely to be a victim of violent crime than those who did not have drinking problem. Furthermore, respondents who were unemployed were two times more likely than those who were employed to be a victim of violent crime. Young people were two times more likely than older people to be a victim of violent crime by gun or knife. Low level of education was a predictor of gun or knife violent crime victimization. Our findings indicate that alcohol consumption was not a strong factor influencing violent crime but having drinking problem underscored violent crime victimization. Furthermore, effort towards education and reducing unemployment would considerably decrease gun or knife violent crime victimization.
Keywords: Alcohol, gun violence, knife violence, South Africa, crime victimization