n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA) of violent, economic and sexual offenders in the city of Tshwane, South Africa

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While local researchers postulate the proximate causes of crime, few spatial-ecological studies have been used to investigate the location of offenders. In this study, for the first time in a South African context, the spatial origin of offenders across three crime categories are investigated : violent, economic and sexual. The cause of these spatial patterns of offenders within the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality (CTMM) are examined using variables and indices informed by common ecological theories of crime as input into a series of Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) and Spatial Lag (SL) regressions. Comparisons of the log likelihood function measure across the models indicate a slightly better fit of the spatial lag specification to that of the OLS regression. The findings of the study indicate that the location of offenders within Tshwane appears to be associated with the spatial incidence of two broad factors - unemployment and high residential mobility. Results of this study not only reveal interesting insights into the racially defined nature of South African society, but more importantly shows how the spatial origin of offenders are driven predominantly along racially defined regions within the CTMM. The highlighting of such 'high offender' areas as well as other factors such as the increasing incidences of black Africans in the media as criminal offenders, and the greater number of black Africans in prisons in South Africa, tend to reinforce the racially based stigma that is often attached to crime in the country. These traditionally black African suburbs are however, shown in the study to be among the poorest within the CTMM with high levels of unemployment and migration, a remnant of apartheid era policies of relocating non-whites from the traditional white suburbs into slums on the periphery of the city. A number of policy solutions are offered to reduce the amount of offenders emanating from specific regions within the Tshwane municipality.


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