n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Metropolitan policing : too high a price?

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Crime affects the life of all South Africans. Reducing crime and building safer communities must be a priority, not only for the government, but for all of us. Government policy and legislation urge local governments to take the lead in implementing crime prevention programmes and to introduce Metro Police Services where possible. One can, however, question the feasibility of such a policy as it implies that several organisations should work together, which always comes at a price.

In the State of the Nation Address in 2002, President Mbeki noted that the government remains "very conscious of the fact that the safety and security of all our people is a fundamental right and a critical element in our efforts to improve the quality of life of all our people" (Pelser 2001 : 23). One way of improving the quality of life of all our people is the establishment of Metropolitan (Metro) Police Services.
We are all aware of the financial implications when it comes to policing and especially crime prevention, hence the question : According to Normann (2000 : 161), the relationship between producer and client in service - and knowledge - orientated businesses is usually complex, and as a result pricing tends to assume several important functions apart from simply putting a price tag on such services.
In order to be able to attach a price tag to policing, the author analysed the crime situation in South Africa from 1990 until 1998. Special emphasis was placed on the occurrence of such as assault, murder, rape, robbery and farm attacks, such as housebreaking, motor vehicle theft, theft out of motor vehicles, other thefts, and such as arson and malicious damage to property. The statistics obtained for these crimes were also analysed in relation to population (per 100 000 of the population).
In order to provide a holistic picture of policing, the author analysed both the SAPS and the Metropolitan Police Services as well as the public perceptions with regard to their effectiveness and efficiency in our country.


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