Batswana are among the world’s unsafe people with 65 percent of adults saying they do not feel safe walking alone at night according to the 2012 Gallup survey.
Despite the country’s relatively stable government and prosperous economy, Batswana are among the top 10 fearful in the world, according to a Gallup poll conducted in 134 countries.
The Gallop report is in stark contact to the recent Aon Plc 2013 Terrorism and Political Risk survey, which listed Botswana among the world’s safest destinations for tourism, business and investment.
Overall Botswana was one of 12 countries and territories, out of 200 surveyed, which are considered to have “negligible risk” in terms political risk, civilian unrest and acts of terrorism.
However, the Gallop says that despite the fact that Botswana has been led for decades by a well-functioning, democratically elected government; stability and prosperity do not necessarily ensure residents feel safe.
“While Botswana is considered to have among the most stable governments in its region, residents are among the most fearful in the world,” states the report.
According to Steve Crabtree, senior research analyst at Gallup, as nations develop and their economies grow, “some countries experiencing rapid economic development may have ‘growing pains’ in terms of rising income inequality.” These inequalities, and the sense of injustice they often foster, may contribute to rising crime rates and, as a result, fears of crime.
In any country, one of the most meaningful measures of how safe people feel is the way law enforcement officials are perceived. Of the 10 nations where people feel least safe, four also had the lowest ratings of their police forces. In Bolivia and Chad, 66 percent and 64 percent, respectively, of those polled disapproved of the local police, the two worst reviews out of the nation’s measure.
Commenting on the report, Justice, Defence and Security Minister Ramadeluka Seretse expressed mixed feelings. “We were recently looking at one where investors feel safe. It is contradiction in terms because the report by Aon Plc ranked Botswana as one of the countries where investors feel free. We are not saying our country is completely crime free but crime rates are on the downward trend,” he said.