We know that urban violence not only affects people’s health and wellbeing, it has a devastating impact on the social fabric and economic prospects of entire cities. It can also set recursive cycles of vulnerability in motion – violence-affected individuals find it increasingly harder to be gainfully employed, while poverty is sustained through inter generational transfers.
However, the mechanisms through which violent crime and urbanisation are interconnected are not straightforward. While higher rates of violent crime are generally seen in the larger urban centres, not all urban centres experience similar degrees of violence. That is, the security and insecurity outcomes in a city are the result of a complex range of socioeconomic, political and demographic factors, which can vary temporally, spatially, as well as be significantly different for different individuals or groups. Importantly, rapid urbanisation also brings with it a unique set of challenges, which has the potential to overwhelm key government services, including policing and security provision.