THE ROLE OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE SERVICE

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CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF LITERATURE ON CRIME PREVENTION

INTRODUCTION

This chapter presents the scope of crime prevention in South Africa and the three stages are discussed in terms of paying attention to primary, secondary and tertiary prevention. This is followed by a discussion of four models of crime prevention, namely Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), social crime prevention, situational crime prevention, and effective criminal justice. In the third place, the initiatives taken in relation to crime prevention in South Africa are discussed. The chapter further examines the role of the SAPSRRPU in the railway environment.
In the discussion about the four models of crime prevention, the researcher determines their relevancy to the SAPSRRPU’s functions in terms of crime prevention in the railway environment. The community-based initiatives to prevent crime are further highlighted, as the police alone cannot prevent crime and should join hands with the community and its structures in order to reduce the level of crime in the community.

THE SCOPE OF CRIME PREVENTION

Crime prevention is the core function of the SAPS. Crime is a serious problem in the railway environment in South Africa, with commuters being subjected to various kinds of crime, and railway assets being stolen and vandalised, as highlighted in section 1.3 of the problem statement. Page and Moeketsi (2000:np) argue that the prevalence of crime in South Africa has a negative impact not only on the national economic growth, investors’ confidence and tourism, but also on the safety and security of the citizens and residents. Crime in South Africa has unfortunately escalated to the public transportation sectors. Commuters are being targeted inside the transport they are travelling in, and throughout the railway environment.
National Crime Prevention Council (2003:1) states that crime is a social problem that affects thousands of people’s lives each year. Serious crimes against persons and property generate considerable fear within the community. People in the community live in fear because of the high rate of crime that is reported daily. When people leave their homes for work and there is no one there, the houses are broken into and assets stolen. Commuters on their way to work board trains, where they are confronted by criminals who usually rob them of their belongings and even rape the women in the process.
Crime prevention should be a serious concern and should form part of the daily business. The SAPS and the community should work together in the prevention of crime. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) (2010:9) reports that crime prevention has become an increasingly important component of many national strategies on public safety and security. The concept of prevention is based on the notion that crime and victimization are driven by many causal or fundamental factors. These are the result of a wide range of aspects and conditions that influence the lives of individuals and families, and of local environments. The situations and opportunities that enable victimisation and offending are also discussed. South Africa (2018b:np) reports that crime instils fear into the hearts of South Africans from all walks of life, and prevents them from taking their rightful place in the development and growth of the country. Fear prevents the inhabitants from interacting freely with one another and from engaging in economic activity, and it prevents entrepreneurs and investors from investing and being involved in developments that will benefit the country.
Crime prevention can be defined in terms of three stages or levels, namely primary, secondary and tertiary prevention Anon (An: 2003:np). The three levels are discussed in order to illustrate how they relate to this study and its application. The application of the three levels will also act as a guide to crime prevention by the SAPSRRPU.

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Primary Prevention

Primary crime prevention is directed at stopping the problem before it happens (AN, 2003:np) and this could involve the following:

  • Reducing the opportunity for crime: This simply means that it is possible that crime can be reduced or be prevented from occurring in the first place. The visibility of the SAPSRRPU members continuously patrolling the railway environment will either chase criminals away or discourage them from committing crime, and that will reduce the level of crime in the country.
  • Strengthening community and social structures: Engagement between the police and the community is very important in the prevention of crime. A number of structures, for example the Community Policing Forums (CPF) and Neighbourhood Watch, play a vital role in the prevention of crime.

AN (2003:np) states that primary prevention focuses on social and situational factors. This suggests that in primary crime prevention, the community members should play a part in the prevention of crime. Community members can provide the police with the information that will assist them in bringing perpetrators to justice. Burger (2007:12) asserts that primary prevention takes place in a situation where physical and social environments provide opportunities for criminal acts to take place, for example in places where streets lights are out of order. It is easier for criminals to rob people in the evening.
This suggests that the local government should make sure that the environmental design does not contribute to the commission of crime by criminals, for example, streetlights should always be in working condition in order for commuters to feel safe when travelling to their homes from the train stations. Long grass should be cut to prevent criminals from hiding in the bush and targeting commuters when they alight from trains. Community outreach programmes should be conducted to educate people about crimes that are prevalent in the railway environment, so that commuters will stay alert, and finally, the PRASA as the custodian of the rail environment should add more security in and around train stations to improve the safety of commuters.
Mackey ([s.a]:4) contends that primary prevention typically focuses on proactive and preventive interventions, well before the onset of crime. The UNODC (2010:16) refers to primary prevention as being programmes or initiatives aimed at those who have never been involved in the Criminal Justice System (CJS), for example programmes to educate and alert the general public and young people about crimes that are committed in the railway environment.
Morne (2016:np) reports that the United National Transport Union (UNTU) stated that they were happy that SAPS had finally had a wake-up call and decided to implement proactive plans to combat crime at railway stations and on trains. This statement is an indication that the SAPSRRPU applies visible proactive measures. An awareness campaign forms part of the back-to-basics approach by the police that is aimed at raising awareness among rail commuters regarding crimes that are prevalent. That is evident when police officers are seen patrolling the railway environment. Having Railway Police stations closer to railway train stations, for example, the one situated at Pretoria train station and the other at Johannesburg Park Station, act as a deterrent to criminals. This is an indication that the SAPSRRPU is concerned with the safety of the commuters. Awareness campaigns form part of SAPSRRPU’s duties as a way to address crime by educating commuters about the crimes that are prevalent in the railway environment and sensitising them about their safety when travelling on the trains and while crossing railway lines or platforms. SAPS Annual Report 2016/2017 (2017c:124) highlights that the decrease in crime in the railway environment could be as a result of awareness campaigns that give commuters the confidence to report crime. These kinds of campaigns are usually conducted while the trains are in motion and sometimes at the mega-stations, as guided by the crime analysis.
Burger (2007:12) points out that primary prevention takes place in a situation where the physical and social environment provide opportunities for criminal acts. The National Centre for Victims of Crime (NCVC) (2001:np) highlights that primary prevention addresses the circumstances in the natural environment that may lead to the development and occurrence of crime. Lack of street lighting and maintenance, broken windows, abandoned buildings, and broken down cars are a few examples of a disorganised community. Primary prevention seeks to directly remove the factors that may lead to crime. One type of primary prevention is that of neighbourhood crime prevention, for example by means of a neighbourhood watch. By addressing the factors that may lead to crime, neighbourhood crime-prevention groups/organizations have an effect on the fear and perception of crime, as well as the actual occurrence of crime. If members of the community participate in crime prevention, their perception and fear of crime may diminish. Landman and Snyders (2017:np) argue that the physical nature of the built environment offers a setting for crime. The physical arrangement or structure of the built environment has a direct effect on crime and the fear of crime. Places that are unattractive or uncared-for are particular locations that increase the fear of crime. Criminals respond to and view the physical environment differently, and utilise this environment to their benefit for criminal activities. In this kind of prevention, people identify conditions that provide an opportunity for the commission of crime.

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CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY 
1.1 INTRODUCTION
1.2 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
1.3 PROBLEM STATEMENT
1.4 RESEARCH AIM AND OBJECTIVES
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.6 KEY CONCEPTS
1.7 VALUE OF THE STUDY.
CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF LITERATURE ON CRIME PREVENTION
2.1 INTRODUCTION
2.2 THE SCOPE OF CRIME PREVENTION
2.3 THE MODELS OF CRIME PREVENTION
2.4 INITIATIVES FOR CRIME PREVENTION IN SOUTH AFRICA
2.5 SUMMARY
CHAPTER THREE: AN OVERVIEW OF RAILWAY POLICING IN SOUTH AFRICA 
3.1 INTRODUCTION
3.2 THE ROLE OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE SERVICE
3.3 CRIME PREVENTION MANDATE FOR VISIBLE POLICING
3.4 BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF RAILWAY POLICING
3.5 THE STRUCTURE OF THE RAPID RAIL POLICING UNIT
3.6 CURRENT SITUATION OF RAPID RAILWAY POLICING IN SOUTH AFRICA
3.7 THE ROLE OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE SERVICE RAILWAY POLICING IN CRIME PREVENTION
3.8 SUMMARY
CHAPTER FOUR: LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK FOR CRIME PREVENTION
4.1 INTRODUCTION
4.2 THE INTERNATIONAL LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK
4.3 THE SOUTH AFRICAN LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR CRIME PREVENTION
4.4 STRATEGIC PLANNING AND POLICY FRAMEWORK OF THE SAPS
4.5 SUMMARY
CHAPTER FIVE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
5.1 INTRODUCTION
5.2 THE PHILOSOPHICAL WORLDVIEW
5.3 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
5.4 STUDY LOCATION
5.5 TARGET POPULATION AND SAMPLING
5.6 DATA COLLECTION
5.7 DATA ANALYSIS
5.8 METHODS USED TO ENSURE TRUSTWORTHINESS
5.9 ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS
5.10 SUMMARY
CHAPTER SIX: PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSION OF THE RESEARCH FINDINGS 
6.1 INTRODUCTION
6.2 EMERGING THEMES
6.3 SUMMARY
CHAPTER SEVEN: INTERPRETATION OF THE RESEARCH FINDINGS 
7.1 INTRODUCTION
7.2 MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPROACH TOWARDS CRIME PREVENTION WITH A FOCUS ON THE DESIGN OF THE ENVIRONMENT
7.3 REDUCING OPPORTUNITIES TO COMMIT CRIME BY ADDRESSING THE SETTING AND CONTEXT OF CRIME
7.4 SOCIAL FACTORS CONDUCIVE TO CRIME IN THE RAILWAY ENVIRONMENT
7.5 EFFECTIVE CRIMINAL JUSTICE
7.6 EMPOWERMENT OF POLICE OFFICIALS IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE MODELS OF CRIME PREVENTION
7.7 SUMMARY
CHAPTER EIGHT: SUMMARY, RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSION 
8.1 INTRODUCTION
8.2 SUMMARY
8.3 RECOMMENDATIONS
8.4 FURTHER RESEARCH
8.5 CONCLUSION
REFERENCE LIST
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