To better understand crime and public perceptions of safety in Tanzania, victimisation surveys were carried out in Arusha, Dar es Salaam and Mtwara. A fundamental requirement for the prevention and control of crime is the availability of reliable data. To this end the Arusha Municipal Council, the Dar es Salaam City Council (Safer Cities) and the Mtwara Spatial Development Initiative located within the National Development Corporation, in partnership with the Mtwara-Mikandani Town and Mtwara Rural Councils, requested that such a study to be undertaken in each of their constituencies.
In March 2000, two studies were conducted into crime and violence in Dar es Salaam – a victim survey and a series of in-depth interviews on violence against women. The studies were initiated by the Safer Cities project in Dar es Salaam and UN Habitat in Nairobi to gain an understanding of crime levels in communities within the city council’s area of jurisdiction to assist in the development of a crime reduction strategy for the city.
The Sustainable Cities Programme (SCP) started in the Tanzanian capital, Dar es Salaam in 1992 under an initiative known as the Sustainable Dar es Salaam Project. Dar es Salaam was one of the first demonstration cities in Africa where environmental planning and management were revitalized under the SCP, a joint initiative of UNHABITAT and UNEP to implement Agenda 21.
Others cities were Ismailia in Egypt, Accra in Ghana, Dakar in Senegal, Ibadan in Nigeria, and Lusaka in Zambia.
Dar es Salaam is the main industrial and commercial centre of the United Republic of Tanzania. It is a coastal city, located along the Indian Ocean. It has a population of approximately 2.5 million with an annual growth rate of 4.3%.
Rapid growth has provided the urban economy with many economic opportunities, and has also led to the rapid deterioration of environmental conditions.
Violent crime and delinquency threaten the quality of life of urban dwellers in Dar es Salaam. During the 1990’s the annual crime increase in Dar es Salaam was 8,1%. Not only does this divert scarce resources from urban social development, but it also constitutes a serious impediment to the city’s economic development. Globally, crime patterns are changing.Offenders are getting younger and violent crime is becoming more common.