n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Community policing in the Vaalrand (Gauteng)

Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



In the period preceding the nineties, the Police became a symbol of oppression to the greater part of the community in South Africa, as the strategy of the police was characterised by a strong emphasis on the military style of policing (Stevens & Yach 1995:2). South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994 resulted in a change of government that brought with it dramatic reform. A demand for fundamental reassessment of policing was also established, especially in view of a high crime rate which hampered long-term socio-economic changes. Crime inhibits economic activity and demotivates international investors who wish to invest in South Africa (Cokayne 1998:14). According to Van Blerk (1996:21), violent crimes often lead to a tragic loss of life and injury and the loss of possessions, and the effect on one's livelihood as a result of crime, is incalculable. He also states that the freedom and rights of the individual, as entrenched in the Constitution, are threatened every time a citizen becomes a victim of crime. The newly elected government subsequently instituted community policing to establish an effective partnership against crime between the police and the communities they serve. This resulted in the removal of the top structure of the South African Police, which meant replacing officials who resisted reform with more enlightened managers, and creating a police service instead of a police force (Fox, Van Wyk & Fourie 1998:168).

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