Incidence and Trends in Crime
Migration from rural areas to cities and the consequent
creation of slums, such as those pictured above, contributed to a
rise in urban crime.
Courtesy United Nations (J.P. Laffont)
It is difficult to generalize about the incidence of
Angola. Indeed, the government's characterization of UNITA
other insurgent groups as bandits, gangsters, criminals,
gangs, rebels, and counterrevolutionaries suggested a
mixture of civil, criminal, and political criteria.
However, it is
likely that Angolan society exhibited criminal patterns
those of societies in other developing countries
uncontrolled rural-to-urban migration, rapid social
unemployment and underemployment, the spread of urban
the lack or breakdown of urban and social services. It is
likely that such patterns were even more pronounced
three decades of endemic conflict and massive dislocation.
and comparative patterns suggest that crimes against
increased with urban growth and that juveniles accounted
of the increase.
Available evidence, although fragmentary, indicated
crime rate was rising. Smuggling, particularly of diamonds
timber, was frequently reported as a major criminal
occasionally involving senior government and party
Dealing in illegal currency was another common crime.
acting as police or state security agents sometimes abused
writs by illegally entering homes and stealing property.
Intermittent police crackdowns on black market activities
short-term effects. Endemic production and distribution
and shortages gave rise to embezzlement, pilfering, and
of criminal misappropriation. The enormous extent of this
was indicated by an official estimate in 1988 that 40
imported goods did not reach their intended consumers
the highly organized parallel market system. The
approved new measures to combat economic crime on a
Data as of February 1989