n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Selected crime prevention issues in South Africa : lessons from Zambia

Special Edition 3
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



The aim of this article is to examine selected crime prevention issues in the South African context and compare these with the Zambian situation. These relate to the control of the retail liquor market for purposes of crime prevention; control of the proliferation of firearms together with other operational aspects of policing in the two countries. The Zambian aspects of the study were observed in that country during a month period in which six cities and towns were visited. A number of units and officials of the Zambian Police Service, civil society organisations and municipalities were visited. Unobtrusive observations were made and in other instances unstructured interviews were conducted. The South African part of the study is based on practical police experience that spans fourteen years, as well as a study of available literature. South Africa has high rates of violent crime that seem to be a direct and indirect result of its policies on key factors. In the mid 1990s, 80% of the South Africa retail liquor market was estimated as being illegal. There has been no significant shift since then. The Medical Research Council in South Africa recently indicated that 46 per cent of all unnatural deaths in the country are linked to alcohol consumption. The country's Minister of Safety and Security publicly stated that in over 50 per cent of murders, firearms were used. Whilst the differences in terms of the economies between the two countries, as well as the political histories, cannot be ignored, it is important to note Zambia has taken very different approaches to many aspects that lead to the confluence of violent victimisation and crime. In Zambia, both the retail liquor market and the proliferation of legal guns, and illegal guns are strictly controlled. In other areas of crime prevention in Zambia, more successful approaches were also noticed.

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