Police officers 14 times more likely to be murdered than civilians – report

Tuesday, October 1st, 2019 00:00 |
Police service. Photo/Courtesy

Police officers in Kenya face a greater risk of being murdered than the average citizen, according to a UN report.

A United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s (UNODC) 2019 Global Study on Homicide says police officers face a 14 times higher risk of being killed than civilians.

According to the UNODC, police officers in Kenya were in 2015 killed at a rate of 72 per 100,000 officers, compared to five civilians per 100,000 people.

The report also reveals that globally, the overall number of people killed in homicides increased from 362,000 in 1990 to 464,000 in 2017.

The research revealed that criminal activity was responsible for more deaths worldwide than armed conflict and terrorism combined, with roughly 65,000 killings every year related to organised crime and gangs over the period 2000–2017. 

Between 2015 and 2017, the total number of homicide victims worldwide increased by four per cent, or around 19,000 victims.

A comparison of the figures show that Americas continue to report high homicide rates, with young men especially aged between 18 and 19 at risk.

Unreliable data

Europe, on the other hand, has seen a decline in the homicide rate by 63 per cent since 2002 and by 38 per cent, while the rate in Asia has fallen by 36 per cent, since 1990.

However, data from African countries not reliable, with possibility of killings under reported.

Conflict over resources has always been a major driver of violence, according to the report. Drugs and alcohol can drive certain types of violent crime. Ironically, the home remains the most dangerous place for women.

The killing of women by intimate partners or family members rose from rose from 48,000 victims in 2012 to 50,000 in 2017.

The number of children killed in homicides has remained stable for a decade, with roughly 21,000 children have lost their lives in homicides each year since 2008.

The death of those killed by intimate partners is not usually the result of a random or spontaneous act, according to the report.

While men are more likely than women to be victims of homicide, they are even more likely to be the perpetrators.

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