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South Africa is among the most crime-ridden and crime-concerned countries in the world (UN-ODC 2002). Situated in the Western Cape, Cape Town has one of the highest rates of violent, property and commercial crime in the country. The apartheid government left both physical and social legacies unique to South Africa that complicate questions of crime patterns and make current literature on crime inadequate to explain Cape Town. This thesis uses an economic model of crime where individuals weigh the expected costs of committing a crime against the expected benefits to explore whether proximity to a high-violent-crime neighborhood increases property crime in middle and upper class suburbs. Using linear regression techniques, this thesis finds that contrary to popular belief, suburbs furthest away from violent neighborhoods experience higher property crime rates even after holding income and other neighborhood variables constant.



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