Local responses to a travelling model of crime prevention and crime management : community policing in Stellenbosch, South Africa

Pfigu, Tinashe (2012-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The mention of any form of crime in South Africa for the most part invokes fear of both an unknown or known perpetrator who may strike at any time and inflict harm to one’s body and property. Through ethnographic work that generated qualitative data, the study explores, interprets and analyses what community policing is in practice from three selected localities: Die Boord, Kayamandi and Kylemore in the Stellenbosch Municipality of the Western Cape. This is illustrated throughout the thesis by the descriptions and analysis of processes, ideas and performances of community policing from the local level. Therefore, the important issues the thesis brings out centre on how people define and perform community policing and their perceptions of it. In light of the above statements, how people understood community policing and how they created local sensibilities about community policing as a response to crime informs the discussion and analysis in the thesis. In the process, I bring out what informed people’s perceptions of community policing, how people talked about crime or conceived of security. In so doing, the study aims to use local examples to reveal the at times muted and ignored responses to not only community policing, but also to broader issues around crime prevention and crime management policy and practice. Moreover, the thesis illustrates the numerous ways in which local experiences and constructions of crime shape the practice of community policing. Through the use of ethnography, the study analyses the notion of security in terms of local perspectives, local history and local security needs. The study further explores the relevance of the ‘racialised’ and class experiences of crime and security, as well as social divisions of age and gender in order to understand the differences in perceptions and reactions to community policing at the local level. The notions of the ‘travelling model’ and ‘translation’ provide theoretical constructs to examine how community policing is conceived of in policy at the national and provincial levels in South Africa and the links with the constant changes in the international discourse of crime prevention and crime management. The thesis concludes by illuminating the complexities involved in reforms to crime prevention and crime management in South Africa in response to changing patterns of crime and to criminals who have become ever bolder in their endeavours. In the process, the thesis offers a critique of and sheds light on, to what extent the realities of crime and its related problems in South Africa inform the re-reading of community policing and broader issues around crime prevention and crime management.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die noem van enige vorm van misdaad in Suid-Afrika roep ’n vrees van beide ’n onbekende of bekende oortreder op wat op enige oomblik kan toeslaan en skade aan ’n mens se liggaam en eiendom kan aanrig. Deur die gebruik van etnografiese werk wat kwalitatiewe data opgelewer het, verken, interpreter en analiseer hierdie studie die praktyk van gemeenskapspolisiëring in drie geselekteerde woonbuurte: Die Boord, Kayamandi en Kylemore in die Stellenbosch Munisipaliteit van die Wes-Kaap. Dit word in die proefskrif geïllustreer deur die beskrywings en analise van prosesse, idees en opvoerings van gemeenskapspolisiëring op die plaaslike vlak. Die belangrike kwessies wat die proefskrif dus na vore bring, sentreer rondom mense se definisies van gemeenskapspolisiëring, hoe hulle dit opvoer en hul persepsies daarvan. Die bespreking en analise in die tesis word, in die lig van die bogenoemde stellings, ingelig deur hoe mense gemeenskapspolisiëring verstaan en hoe hulle plaaslike denkbeelde oor gemeenskapspolisiëring as ’n antwoord op misdaad geskep het. Ek bring in hierdie proses na vore wat mense se persepsies van gemeenskapspolisiëring ingelig het, sowel as die manier waarop mense oor misdaad gepraat het of oor sekuriteit gedink het. Die studie probeer om op hierdie wyse plaaslike voorbeelde te gebruik om die somtyds onderdrukte en geïgnoreerde reaksies, nie slegs op gemeenskapspolisiëring nie, maar ook op wyer kwessies rondom misdaadvoorkoming en misdaadbestuur, in beleid en praktyk, te onthul. Die tesis illustreer verder die verskeie maniere waarop plaaslike ervarings en konstruksies van misdaad die praktyk van gemeenskapspolisiëring vorm. Deur die gebruik van etnografie analiseer die studie die begrip sekuriteit in terme van plaaslike perspektiewe, plaaslike geskiedenis en plaaslike sekuriteitsbehoeftes. Die studie verken verder die relevansie van ’rasiale’ en klaservarings van misdaad en sekuriteit, sowel as sosiale verdelings van ouderdom en geslag om sodoende die verskille in persepsies en reaksies op gemeenskapspolisiëring op die plaaslike vlak te verstaan. Die opvattings rondom die ‘reisende model’ en ’vertaling’ bied teoretiese konstrukte om ondersoek in te stel na hoe gemeenskapspolisiëring in beleid op nasionale en provinsiale vlakke in Suid-Afrika verstaan word en die skakels met konstante veranderings in die internasionale diskoers oor misdaadvoorkoming en misdaadbestuur. Die tesis sluit af deur die kompleksiteite wat by misdaadvoorkoming en misdaadbestuur in Suid-Afrika betrokke is, te belig, in antwoord op veranderende patrone van misdaad en op misdadigers wat steeds meer vrypostig geword het. In die proses bied die tesis ’n kritiese blik op en belig dit die mate waartoe die realiteite van misdaad en verwante probleme in Suid-Afrika die herlees van gemeenskapspolisiëring, sowel as wyer kwessies rondom misdaadvoorkoming en misdaadbestuur, inlig.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/71604
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