Crime and poverty in urban Ghana
The ways in which crime and poverty interact have been much studied and debated in western research literature, yet little is known about these dynamics in Africa. In a series of seven papers, this 2016 special issue of the Ghana Journal of Geography helps to fill a critical gap in African perspectives on the issues. It presents findings from three years of research, led by the University of Ghana Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research, on the relationship between poverty and crime in neighbourhoods of four Ghanaian cities: Accra, Kumasi, Sekondi-Takoradi, and Tamale.
These fresh insights challenge a widely held assumption that higher levels of poverty produce higher levels of crime by shedding light on features of low-income neighbourhoods that can enhance the protective effects of social cohesion. The collection underscores how housing and infrastructure design, and a range of other policy and planning choices, can help reduce crime and insecurity in neighbourhoods rich and poor.
Read the articles
- “Introduction: Urban Crime and Poverty Nexus” (PDF, 96.7KB) by George Owusu
- “Can Poor Neighbourhoods be Correlated with Crime? Evidence from Urban Ghana” (PDF, 151KB) by George Owusu, Martin Oteng-Ababio, Adobea Y. Owusu, and Charlotte Wrigley-Asante
- “Poverty and Crime: Uncovering the Hidden Face of Sexual Crimes in Urban Low-income Communities in Ghana” (PDF, 373KB) by Charlotte Wrigley-Asante, George Owusu, Martin Oteng-Ababio, and Adobea Y. Owusu
- “Beyond Poverty and Criminalization: Splintering Youth Groups and ‘Conflict of Governmentalities’ in Urban Ghana” (PDF, 241KB) by Martin Oteng-Ababio
- “Geography of Fear of Crime: Examining Intra-urban Differentials in Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis, Ghana” (PDF, 169KB) by Louis K. Frimpong
- “Gendered Perception of Crime and Safety: Insights from Different Socio-economic Urban Neighbourhoods in Ghana” (PDF, 393KB) by Charlotte Wrigley-Asante
- “Securing the Urban Space: On Whose Terms? Insights from Poverty and Crime Baseline Survey in Tamale, Ghana” (PDF, 154KB) by Ernest Bagson and Adobea Yaa Owusu
Learn more about the 2016 special issue of the Ghana Journal of Geography.
Learn more about the IDRC-supported project, Exploring the crime and poverty nexus in urban Ghana.
Learn more about IDRC’s research support to make cities safer through the Safe and Inclusive Cities partnership with the UK’s Department for International Development.