n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Private security companies, neighbourhood watches and the use of CCTV surveillance in residential neighbourhoods : the case of Pretoria-East

Special Edition 1
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



Closed circuit television (CCTV) camera surveillance systems in central business districts (CBDs) in South Africa have been in use for at least a decade. Their primary implementation motivation was for the purpose of crime prevention, deterrence and control. However, their extension to residential neighbourhoods within the context of social crime prevention and community policing have been a more recent phenomena. Many of these systems have been privately funded and operated by contract security companies, or even initiated by individual security companies themselves as an add-on to existing contracts to clients for security services. The impetus for these surveillance systems must also be seen within the slow implementation of Sector Policing (as an extension of Community Policing) and the individual neighbourhood or Community Police Forums (CPFs) Community Safety Networks programmes. This article is exploratory in nature and examines the background and motivations for their implementation as part of integrated neighbourhood and residential security and safety measures and investigates the roles of various role-players, in particular Block Committees/Neighbourhood Watches and private security companies - in their implementation and operationalisation. It also reviews whether such systems add to neighbourhood safety or are just a 'nice-to-have' add-on. It is based on a case study from selected CPF Sectors in Pretoria's Eastern suburbs.

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