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- Volume 17, Issue 2, 2004
Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Volume 17, Issue 2, 2004
Volumes & issues
Volume 17, Issue 2, 2004
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 17, pp 1 –16 (2004)More Less
Following from the concept of groupthink, coined by social psychologist Irving L. Janis in the early 1970s, this study focuses on several detective groups in the South African Police Service's Gauteng province in order to determine the existence of the groupthink phenomenon. Police detectives were chosen for this analysis based on characteristics of police officers, described as a police sub-culture, in general literature on the police. Through a literature review of Janis's groupthink concept, the researchers identified four independent variables that were manipulated within an experimental research design to detect and evaluate the presence of groupthink and its impact on group decision-making directed to group task performance. The specific hypothesis tested was that groups of South African Police Service detectives with high internal group cohesion, low external group respect, low organizational security and directive leadership would lead to ineffective decision making during an escalation dilemma task. Through a multiple analysis of variance (MANOVA) test, the research results indicate that the four independent variables did indeed contribute to groupthink during an escalation dilemma task. Although the MANOVA test indicates that these variables had an effect on groupthink, the Pearson r correlation coefficient suggests that the simple inclusion of these four predictors in the model underspecifies the conditions of the groupthink phenomenon.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 17, pp 17 –33 (2004)More Less
Suicide rates are alarmingly high in the South African Police Services (SAPS). Several studies have been done regarding suicide and law enforcement agencies but few regarding suicide ideation in law enforcement agencies. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between coping, stress and suicide ideation within the SAPS. A cross-sectional survey design was used. A random, stratified sample was taken from the ranks of police officials in Gauteng Province (n = 266). The Adult Suicide Ideation Questionnaire, Police Stress Inventory, the COPE Questionnaire and a biographical questionnaire were administered. The results indicated that the factors that predict suicide ideation the best are the following: A previous suicide attempt, passive coping styles, to be charged in terms of the disciplinary code, medical conditions and gender. The results also indicated that 9, 02% of the sample showed significant levels of suicide ideation.
The provision of airport security at international ports of entry : a case study of Johannesburg International AirportAuthor Anthony MinnaarSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 17, pp 34 –59 (2004)More Less
This article examines the regulatory framework which exists for the provision of airport security at international ports of entry as provided for by the International Civilian Aviation Organisation (ICAO), and the supplementary security requirements developed by the International Aviation Transport Association (IATA) and the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) of the USA. It further examines the impact of the additional air security measures called for in the aftermath of the events of 11 September 2001 in America. These security regulations are examined by means of a case study of the implementation and operationalisation of existing security measures at Johannesburg International Airport with reference to security at perimeter fences, embarkation points, baggage handling and cargo despatch. A number of potential loopholes and shortcomings were identified in the case study and are discussed in some detail, pointing to lessons to be learnt.
Author D.L. KgosimoreSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 17, pp 60 –70 (2004)More Less
The objective of this research is to present Type V workplace violence as an additional typology to the existing four types of workplace violence, namely Type I (stranger), Type II (client/customer), Type III (worker) and Type IV (relationship). This research focused on employers as perpetrators of Type V workplace violence. Type V workplace violence is defined as any form of soft or extreme physical or non-physical violence committed by an employer, which directly or indirectly affects his or her employee or employees in a negative way. Type V workplace violence occurs more often in workplaces that are private and far removed from public scrutiny. Farming and domestic workplaces in South Africa are cited in this research as typical examples of Type V workplace violence localities. The research concludes that Type V workplace violence is a reality that researchers cannot ignore.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 17, pp 71 –82 (2004)More Less
The evolution of private security over centuries reveals a meaningful relationship with crime prevention. From the beginning of times, through the Middle Ages up to modern times, private security honoured its role in and commitment to protecting life and property. Although it appears that the history of private security in South Africa has not been suffficiently recorded, this industry gained tremendous momentum during the past three to four decades.
Crime prevention in private security context gained renewed momentum in 1960 with Elizabeth Wood's Social Design Theory advocating the observance of a sense of community. Oscar Newman's Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), eventually gave rise to defensible space, which he defined as " ...a model which inhibits crime by creating a physical expression of a social fabric which defends itself" (Cf. Newman 1973). Newman is especially credited for linking environmental design and crime prevention in a symbiotic relationship. The Broken windows theory also explains why it is necessary to safeguard residential neighbourhoods against the physical deterioration and decay which results from deviant behaviour. It could, therefore, be anticipated that private security will play a more significant role in crime prevention because of an apparent lack of confidence in police control over crime.
Having followed the survey research method, two non-probability samples (public and private security) have been selected as data generating sources. Data analysis was subjected to factor analysis, using varimax rotational procedures. Two statistical scales were eclectically selected for each of the two samples to establish whether a relationship exists between private security and crime prevention.
Several factors relating to the four selected scales, with no significant overlapping between empirical relationships, emerged on both sides of the sampling spectrum. The data confirmed the positive role played by private security officers in crime prevention.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 17, pp 83 –98 (2004)More Less
The aim of this survey was to investigate the perceptions of respondents regarding learners with a disposition to bully, the main reasons for peer victimisation and measures against bullying.
The non-probability sample consisted of 1873 learners from nine primary, eight secondary schools and two special schools in District 4, Tshwane South. The survey was conducted in the first term of 2003.
Nearly half (43,1%) the respondents believed that they were as able (27,9%) or more able (16,9%) than other learners to bully others if they wanted to. When asked, "Have you ever felt like hurting or upsetting another learner?", a substantial percentage (64,8%) indicated that they had felt like hurting or upsetting another learner either "sometimes" (54,6%) or "often" (6,8%).
More than 40,0 percent (43,6%) of the learners had been a member of a group who had bullied another child during 2002. Nearly one fifth (24,2%) of the sample group admitted to having bullied a learner as part of a group. More than one third (38, 4%) of the learners appeared to have bullied another learner on their own during 2002.
The three most common reasons learners cited for bullying others were to show how tough they were (show off) (63,0%), for fun (54,6%), and to get even (retaliation) (52,4%). An overwhelming majority of the respondents believed that the following would be sound measures against peer victimisation :
- Teachers should try to stop bullying (86,8%).
- Learners and teachers should cooperate to stop peer victimisation (83,8%).
- Teachers and learners should be concerned enough to stop bullying in their schools (82,5%).
Selected issues pertaining to democratic constitutionalism in South Africa : the justice, crime prevention and security paradoxAuthor J. Van der WesthuizenSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 17, pp 99 –114 (2004)More Less
The debate regarding "democratic constitutionalism" has come a long way. In fact, it grew from the earliest discussions in the justice, crime prevention and security field of study. As the intellectual debate accelerates there is a realisation that "democratic constitutionalism" ultimately intersects closely with the holistic domain of democracy. Inevitably, this raises fundamental questions about the very existence of democracy in the daily activities of the South African public services, and more specifically the justice, crime prevention and security services. The newly designed clustering (merging) of justice, crime prevention and security services (the so-called "JCPS" departments) is mainly aimed at reducing the levels of crime and enhancing stability and security. Whereas the previous political system was characterised by massive violations of human rights (especially by the crime prevention and security services), the new political order poses a totally new dispensation that is based on values and principles of "democratic constitutionalism." It is against this background that the article discusses issues of "democratic constitutionalism" as it unfolds in the South African public service context. It presents democracy in terms of constitutional accountability, democracy in the context of political responsibility and democracy related to the concept of managerial responsiveness. Governmental activities are placed under the magnifying glass and its significance for democratic principles is highlighted. In broad, there is an outline of how the Government is performing in terms of the reaching of these democratic ideals.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 17, pp 115 –130 (2004)More Less
This article deals with the various aspects of diversion. The provisions providing for diversion in the International Instruments relating to the rights of children in conflict with the law are highlighted. The policy directive issued to prosecutors in this regard by the National Prosecuting Authority, the aims and purposes of diversion, the different diversion programmes available in South Africa at the moment, the consequences of non-compliance with diversion, the current position in South Africa, the question whether or not diversion is working and the role of communities in this process are being discussed. Furthermore, the proposed provisions relating to diversion in the Child Justice Bill, 2002 are reflected. There is a definite need in our country for legislation ruling, monitoring and measuring the diversion process. All the role players involved in the adjudication of juvenile offenders as well as the parents and guardians of juveniles should be actively drawn into this process and participate to make it work for the benefit of our children and our society.
Author R. PretoriusSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 17, pp 131 –142 (2004)More Less
Large numbers of migrants enter South Africa both legally and illegally in search of a better life and personal safety and security. Most are economic migrants and a minority are political refugees who had fled their countries because of a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of culture, religion, political opinions, or the life-threatening conditions of war. The general public usually do not distinguish between economic migrants and political refugees, suspecting that all migrants are involved in crime and responsible for South Africa's high unemployment rate. Xenophobia and discrimination against, and abuse of refugees often result from this. This article reports on a research project undertaken in Pretoria on the victimisation of political refugees. A qualitative research procedure was followed to investigate refugees' experiences during their stay in South Africa. In-depth interviews were conducted with 40 respondents comprising men and women who sought help from a non-government organisation in connection with their personal and language problems as refugees.
All respondents fled from war-torn countries and some had to pay exorbitant prices to human traffickers to reach this country. It was found that most respondents were in one or another way verbally abused and financially exploited by government officials and security personnel on arriving in this country, as well as when they applied for refugee status or a work permit. Cases of physical assault by members of the public were reported and most refugees indicated that they were identified as "foreigners" by their accent, language, physical appearance or dress and called derogatory names.
Two respondents were detained under prison conditions inconsistent with legislation on refugees while waiting for asylum-documentation to be ratified or fetched from home. It was furthermore found that health care personnel were reluctant to attend to the needs of refugees. None of the respondents could find a permanent job because they were foreigners. All respondents expressed their disillusionment with South African society, and felt that they are the targets of discrimination, exploitation and abuse.
Coming to court for child support - the policy, the practice and reality. A case study of black women in the maintenance system at the Johannesburg Family Court [2002-2004]Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 17, pp 143 –154 (2004)More Less
The popular press and hearsay evidence have consistently related accounts of women's ordeals at the maintenance courts. Very little empirical research is available in South Africa to substantiate the critical statements regarding the absence of a service delivery ethos within the maintenance court structure and process. This study was conducted at the Johannesburg Family Court. Its primary purpose was to explore the perceptions of a selected group of people with regard to the efficiency and responsiveness of service delivery in terms of the Maintenance Act 99 of 1998, and in particular, the enforcement of maintenance orders. The researchers used a blended approach of interviews and questionnaires sourcing information from a variety of roleplayers which included the professional staff at the court, staff from other maintenance courts, members of the national Department of Justice, and 40 black women (selected randomly) during the process of applying for maintenance.
In summary, the findings indicate that the statute provides adequate protection for women within the maintenance system: the problem lies with enforcement. This circumstance was attributed to a variety of factors. Most disconcerting, however, was the number of women who spoke of the incompetent, poorly trained personnel within the court system. The court staff themselves acknowledged a number of shortcomings. Whilst it is acknowledged that the research sample is limited, there is little reason to believe that markedly different results would be obtained from other courts.
The researchers' recommendations address all of the issues raised by both the applicants and the court staff. In addition, the researchers' provide an overall assessment of the system and the need for intervention at a national level, including the need for further clarity of sections of the Act and regulations to be promulgated to support the processes outlined by the Act.
A profile of illicit drug-using offenders and dealers in Gauteng, South Africa : results of arrestee drug monitoring and docket researchSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 17, pp 155 –167 (2004)More Less
The social impact of illicit drug consumption has been continually debated for nearly a century. Despite the fact that the health consequences of consumption are subject to medical testing, the contentious nature of the subject matter has meant that a clear consensus has been difficult to achieve. The impact of drugs on criminal behaviour is even more difficult to assess.
The extent and ways in which drugs fuel crime in South Africa remains controversial. This research article reviews past research and introduces new information on the drugs-crime nexus in this country, with an eye toward providing concrete recommendations for law enforcement. The drug markets of South Africa are highly segmented by drug type and ethnicity.