Global studies show that 60% of all urban residents in developing countries have been victims of crime at least once over the past five years, 70% of them in Latin America and Africa. Urbanization, particularly in the developing world, has been accompanied by increased levels of crime, violence, and lawlessness.
The growing violence and feeling of insecurity that city dwellers are facing daily is one of the major challenges around the world. In some countries, crime and violence have been exacerbated by the proliferation of weapons, substance abuse, and youth unemployment. Crime and violence impact the on everyday life of city residents. Women and children are often the most affected, especially when fear hinders their access to services.
The impact of crime and insecurity restricts urban social and economic development, and often jeopardizes opportunities and pro-poor policies. Without a deliberate effort to address this issue, the prospects of future development and poverty reduction are limited.
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