n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Strategic approaches to by-law enforcement as a means of crime prevention in the Tshwane metropolitan area

Special Edition 5
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



This research was concerned with evaluating the development of recent strategic approaches to by-law enforcement as a means of crime prevention in the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality. The study focused on the two distinct approaches towards by-law enforcement by the Metro Police in Tshwane. The initial approach was a distinctly centralised strategy and led to the establishment of the By-law Enforcement Centre (BEC) in 2008. Strategic plans at the time (2008-2011) focused on streamlining by-law enforcement, capacity building and aligning by-law enforcement within the aims of Tshwane's macro Safer City Policy (adopted in 2005). However, in 2009 a Community Safety Visibility Strategy was tabled, which at its core, promoted the principle of decentralising metro policing duties within the constituent wards of the Tshwane Metro. This included by-law enforcement. To facilitate its implementation, the Ward-based Deployment Strategy was drafted and structural changes in the Tshwane Metro Police were made to accommodate the new strategic approach. Two divisions, namely: the Proactive Policing Division (PPD) and the Strategic Policing Intervention Division (SPID) was created, with operational by-law enforcement undertaken by the various wards under the PPD and by-law investigation by the SPID. A quantitative approach was adopted in order to assess which of the two approaches are more conducive to aid crime prevention. Questionnaires were distributed amongst operational members within both divisions with the aim to determine their perceptions. Two strategic approaches, one a centralised and the other a decentralised approach, were compared. Both strategic approaches lay claim that effective by-law enforcement prevents crime and maintains social order. The perceptions of the respondents were considered against the fundamentals and claims of each approach. The findings suggest, amongst others, that the centralised approach offer particular benefits in respect of effective by-law enforcement and that the possibility of drafting specific by-laws, aimed at crime prevention, should be strongly considered.

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