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Chapter 4: Patterns of Violent Crime
For many people, murder or homicide is the quintessential crime. In times of peace, homicides in most parts of the world are very rare events. In some African countries, surveys have started collecting information on murders that have occurred in the family and/or that the interviewed person may have witnessed. Fourteen percent of respondents to the National Victims of Crime Survey in South Africa (2003) said they had at least once during their lifetime witnessed a murder (Burton, Du Plessis, Leggett, Louw, Mistry, & Vuuren, 2004). In most other parts of the world, percentages of the public exposed to homicide are much smaller.
Homicide during times of peace can be subdivided into two broad categories: those committed as a ...