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- Volume 21, Issue 2, 2008
Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Volume 21, Issue 2, 2008
Volumes & issues
Volume 21, Issue 2, 2008
Occupational stress, ill health and organisational commitment of members of the South African Police Service in the North West ProvinceSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 21, pp 1 –15 (2008)More Less
The aims of this study were to analyse the occupational stress experienced by members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) stationed at the Local Criminal and Record Centre (LCRC), to assess the relationship between occupational stress and ill health, and to determine whether individual and organisational commitment moderate the effects of occupational stress on ill health. A survey design was used to achieve the research objectives utilising an availability non-randomised sample (N=111). An Organisational Stress Screening Tool (ASSET) and a biographical questionnaire were used as measuring instruments.
The results indicated that occupational stress provided an explanation in 19 percent of the cases of variance in psychological ill health and in 17 percent of the cases of variance in physical ill health. Control as a stressor was a statistically significant predictor of both physical and psychological ill health. Job overload also statistically significantly predicted psychological ill health. Occupational stress explained 17 percent of the variance in individual commitment to the organisation and 16 percent of the variance in organisational commitment to the individual. Stress resulting from resource problems and work-life balance predicted both individual commitment to the organisation and perceived commitment of the organisation to the individual negatively at a statistically significant level. Stressful job characteristics also predicted individual commitment to the organisation negatively at a statistically significant level. It was found that individual commitment to the organisation moderated the effects of work relations on ill health.
One of the limitations of this study is the possibility of the "common method variance" which could, in turn, lead to an overestimation of the correlations studied. The sample size and sampling method, where only LCRC members in North West Province were included in the sample, could also be viewed as a limitation. It is recommended that addressing the needs of LCRC members will ultimately improve their sense of commitment to the organisation. Furthermore, interventions should be implemented to prevent and reduce stress and to initiate coping mechanisms for LCRC members. Improved recovery strategies would also ensure that LCRC members recuperate effectively from trauma and stress.
Author D. VogelSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 21, pp 16 –26 (2008)More Less
It is estimated that up to five percent of primary and intermediate learners experience problems with regard to good conduct or display severe anti-social behaviour (Prinsloo in Landsberg 2005; Chopra 2007; Wightwick 2007; Kirkey 2007). According to Prinsloo, a general climate of undisciplined behaviour and an aversion to authority may be regarded as consequences of the total disruption of family life, single parenthood and a lack of adult role models for upholding values in South Africa.
A survey by the National Literacy Trust, based in the United Kingdom, found that young children's speaking and listening skills have deteriorated over the past five years. (Chopra 2007). Ninety-two percent of the respondents in the survey attributed this decline to a decrease in the time adults and children spend talking to or interacting with each other. A sharp increase in double-income families often results in parents - both fathers and mothers - not having enough time left to spend with their child or children, with the result that their insight into their children is deficient. A high-quality home learning environment in which parents are engaged in activities with their children is conducive to the intellectual and social development of the child while it also prevents the development of a poor self-image and poor behaviour patterns (Alant & Harty in Landsberg 2005). It has been found that children who have difficulty communicating in plain language often develop behavioural problems, mainly due to the frustration caused by the inability to express their needs. Television is often blamed for the perceived deterioration of children's language and communication skills (Kirkey 2007). In many homes where television provides a constant background noise, adults often are distracted by this and consequently stop talking and listening to their children. In the words of Copra (2007), therefore "... all you parents sit up, talk, take note and kill the abuse!"
Author F.J.W. HerbigSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 21, pp 27 –39 (2008)More Less
Over the last few decades the clarion call sounded by natural resource crime and criminality in South Africa has received, albeit leisurely, amplified attention from the political, societal and academic arenas. Notwithstanding this fact, it is far too often reactive achievements (policing statistics) that are used to articulate to the public at large that the various intervention initiatives and biodiversity management strategies employed by conservation stewardship organisations are viable and sustainable.
Reactive successes are regrettably a tacit reflection of the short-termism and inability of these very organisations to prevent natural resource exploitation and / or injudicious manipulation and its associated trauma, and to protect environmental assets from denigration - in essence an acknowledgement of proactive incapacity. Successful prosecutions and apprehensions demonstrate suitable diligence and competence, yet serve little purpose in the long term if the underlying dynamics and concatenation of conservation crime cannot be identified, comprehended and ultimately moderated or even eliminated.
Compliance management (law enforcement / regulation), in all its guises should be entrenched (or perhaps re-entrenched) as the cornerstone of the South African conservation crime management thrust, but with a decided bias towards identifying, anticipating and mitigating contributory and motivational factors (which will be expounded upon in this paper) in order to facilitate proactive intervention rather than merely reacting to crimes once they have been committed. In essence the management of compliance (proactive) as opposed to the management of non-compliance (reactive)!
It is with the above ideals in mind that this paper seeks to canvass and evaluate the motivational and contributory dynamics of conservation crime and criminality. By cutting across and synthesising criminological dogma a plausible causation archetype capable of adequately explicating the genesis of this form of deviance in South Africa is developed. The theoretical model presented in this treatise by no means purports to be a panoptic statement regarding the causation of this form of criminality, but simply serves to exemplify causal relationships between variables at an unmitigated level - functioning essentially as a means to an end rather than an end in itself. Thereby providing a foundation for focussed and dedicated proactive intervention and acting as a catalyst for more directed research on the aetiology of this basically neglected aspect of natural resource perturbation.
Author J. SteynSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 21, pp 40 –45 (2008)More Less
Most police services and agencies around the world are expected to maintain and enforce the law while at the same time coordinating multi-pronged crime prevention efforts on behalf of the communities they serve. The question is whether this "marriage" can work? The author argues from a police occupational and organisational (sub)culture perspective that this relationship has been doomed to fail from the start as this will create a "Catch-22-Policing" situation and lead to "police-think".
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 21, pp 46 –55 (2008)More Less
An exploratory qualitative study was conducted to determine the experience of abuse among women in a rural subdistrict of Limpopo Province, South Africa. Women visiting local clinics were screened for signs of abuse and those who indicated that they had suffered any form of abuse were asked whether they would like to participate in the study. Thirty-five women consented. Five trained research assistants conducted in-depth interviews using guiding questions. Interviews were tape recorded with the women's permission, cassettes were transcribed and translated and compared with the notes. Recurrent themes were identified and coded and the contents were summarised according to recurrent themes. The key findings were that women suffered all forms of abuse, namely physical, emotional, economic and sexual. Their experiences when seeking support from health services were both good and bad: They were categorised as good when the nurse "said it was not my fault", "treated me with kindness" and "talked about my problems", and categorised as bad when the nurse "shouted at me", "treated me badly", "did not give me treatment", "kept me on the queue for a long time", "told me to keep the abuse a secret", "told me she did not want to interfere between husband and wife", "told me to come back the next day" and "when she used painful words". Participants expected nurses to provide them with treatment, information on abuse, immediate counselling, treat them in private rooms and to be treated with respect. They also wanted nurses to ask them about abuse during general healthcare consultations.
Author R. ZinnSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 21, pp 56 –69 (2008)More Less
In order to combat the crime of house robbery successfully, the South African Police Service (SAPS) needs to find and / or apply an effective policing strategy to deal with it. Internationally, intelligence-led policing has proven to be one of the most effective ways of combating crime. However, in order for the SAPS to successfully apply intelligence-led policing in combating house robberies, the organisation must first gather as much information as possible on this type of crime.
This article provides an overview of the information on the modus operandi of house robbers that could be obtained from interviewing incarcerated house robbers and the value of such crime intelligence.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 21, pp 76 –80 (2008)More Less
Life skills programmes are presented to groups of people on a regular basis under different circumstances by a wide range of institutions with a view to reach certain objectives. The Department of Correctional Services in South Africa made life skills training, in the form of social group work, part of the rehabilitation programme which offenders have to complete during their period of imprisonment. This article was aimed at evaluating the impact of a life skills group work programme on the psycho-social functioning of juvenile offenders in a maximum correctional facility. Qualitative and quantitative findings were discussed to indicate the progress made by the participants as well as to obtain triangulation of data.
Author R. PretoriusSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 21, pp 81 –91 (2008)More Less
This article reports on a qualitative research project which aimed to determine how the personal experience of an armed robbery and violent assault impacted on a sample of 39 victims' perceptions of South Africa as a risk society, a mistrust of strangers, and changes in their personal behaviour as well as security measures to prevent future victimisation. The personal negligence of some respondents, inadequate security measures, and opportunities created deliberately, or out of ignorance by employees, made it possible for the armed robbers to gain entry to homes. All the respondents were physically assaulted, and held at gunpoint to intimidate them into telling where valuables were kept in the house. The experience of being robbed and violently assaulted left them with feelings of ontological insecurity, xenophobia and distrust of strangers, fear of crime and little confidence in the government and police to maintain law and order. The manner in which short-term insurance claims were negotiated and the amount of money eventually paid out, was a final source of frustration and disgust for many respondents.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 21, pp 92 –108 (2008)More Less
The Directorate of Special Operations (DSO), better known as the Scorpions, has been instituted by Parliament at a time when swift and purposeful action by the police and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) was needed to efficiently deal "...with the scourge of organised and pervasive crime" (The Star 2008:10). Since its inception, the Scorpions established itself as an efficient investigative unit. Having been perceived as doing a better job than the South African Police Service in crime prevention, their operational skills apparently caused them to be envied in police circles. In the meantime, this unit has been dissolved by the Cabinet (Sunday Times 2008:1) apparently because of "...their role in bringing prominent ANC leaders to court" (Laurence 2008:10). The present study empirically explores perceptions of a non-probability sample in northern KwaZulu-Natal about selected aspects of the role of the Scorpions. The survey research method, incorporating a literature study technique, has been implemented to gain knowledge from newspaper reports over a wide spectrum of the research problem. Cross-correlation of data is based on two prominent independent variables: gender and race. It would appear that the Scorpions have been disbanded because of their investigation and subsequent prosecution of prominent politicians. Incorporating this unit into the SAPS may be indicative of a moral and constitutional crisis, predicting a definitive loss of specialised knowledge and expertise in the prevention of crime generally. Placing this unit under SAPS command would mean bureaucratising an elite crime fighting unit by means of subjecting it to strict rules and regulations and vertical police management. The plight from all quarters of society to have the Scorpions retained in its present form should be indicative of a desire on the part of law-abiding citizens to be protected against the criminal onslaught and the recognition of their constitutional rights.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 21, pp 109 –124 (2008)More Less
The theory behind the implementation of community service work is to fulfil three penal philosophies of punishment, reparation and reintegration. In other words, community service sentencing should be a sentence in its own right and not be used as a tool to reduce prison overcrowding. The scope of this research was a critical comparison of the sentencing methods, implementation and administration of Community punishment orders (CPOs), as applied in England and Wales with community services orders as applied in South Africa. Statistical data relating to the different types of offences for which offenders are sentenced to these types of orders are analysed. A comparison is also made between the gender and age groups of offenders, as well as the number of hours that these offenders need to do unpaid work within the community as part of their sentence. Lastly, to obtain a holistic view, the reconviction rates of offenders sentenced to community orders are analysed.
Author I.D. De VriesSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 21, pp 125 –138 (2008)More Less
Very high incidences of violent crimes in South Africa are a reality. The article draws attention to important issues that could have been strategically addressed in the first twelve years of democratic policing by the South African policing authorities to successfully manage the problem. Working with Liddell-Hart's idea that "Grand or higher Strategy" is "policy in execution", namely that it coordinates and directs all the resources of a nation, towards the attainment of the goal defined by fundamental policy, as well as Rejai's main components for strategy namely leadership, ideology and organization, the article analyses the South African Police Service's managerial response to the threat of crime in the first twelve years since the democratic election in 1994.
It is argued that in the period of transformation that the SA Police Service had to manage, when policing had to change from an authoritarian style to a democratic style of policing, the transformational issues impacted negatively on the leadership component of the strategic approach, as well as the new ideological base. Although a police service is not responsible for the perpetration of crime, nor the only role player in handling crime, the fact is that the statistics on South Africa on violent crime remain extremely high, emphasizing the fact from a strategic point of view, that leadership and clear ideological direction failed in the period under analysis, but at the same time, again emphasizing the importance of leadership and clear policies for crime combating.
Satanism-related and witchcraft-related crimes : possible interdisciplinary links between anthropology and criminology in the study of "ritualistic crimes"Author T.S. PetrusSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 21, pp 139 –149 (2008)More Less
Criminal activities that can broadly be called "witchcraft-related crimes" have become commonplace in South Africa. These crimes have been equated with crimes that are labelled as "Satanism-related" due to a perceived similarity between these crimes - a similarity that focuses on so-called occult beliefs. Central to understanding these types of crimes is the idea that the perpetrators commit them in a ritualistic context, which has led to these crimes also being referred to as "ritualistic crimes". This paper will attempt to draw a comparison between Satanism-related and witchcraft-related crimes in South Africa in order to establish whether they are, in fact, two sides of the same coin. This issue is crucial as it relates to law enforcement conceptualisations of these crimes. It is argued that witchcraft-related crime, as well as Satanism-related crime, is not clearly defined within law enforcement structures and this hampers their efforts in effectively investigating and curbing crimes of this nature, especially as it applies to witchcraft-related crime. In addition, it will also be argued that witchcraft-related crime cannot easily be grouped under Satanism-related crimes, despite perceived similarities with regard to the modus operandi of some kinds of witchcraft-related crimes. Given the complexity in defining crimes as "Satanism-related" or "witchcraft-related", this paper makes a case for an interdisciplinary approach to ritualistic crimes, specifically calling for greater co-operation between the anthropological and criminological approaches to crime.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 21, pp 150 –162 (2008)More Less
The sentences imposed on many first-time sexual offenders in South Africa involve a variety of correctional services. These correctional services may be related to a period of house arrest, community service or attending of treatment programmes. Sexual offenders who are released on parole are required to attend a compulsory treatment programme. The study reported on in this article is an investigation aimed at providing a rationale for the establishment of an adult sexual offender management programme. The investigation concluded that during the management programme offenders were assisted to understand the risks associated with their behaviour and identified factors that led to the actual offence. Offenders were also sensitised to the effect of their actions on their victims. In addition, offenders were often forced to confront their own unresolved trauma within the group. While the primary focus is on relapse prevention, the overall aim of the offender management programme is to prevent the occurrence of further sexual offences. The programme further aims to address the gap in services that are available to adult sexual offenders. The programme was presented over a period of three consecutive years in a local correctional services agency. Challenges and recommendations are also discussed in the article.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 21, pp 163 –175 (2008)More Less
Democratic and accountable policing are regarded as important hallmarks of democracy. In a healthy democracy, a police service exists to protect and support the rights of the community, not to repress or curtail freedom and ensure power for the governing regime. Holding the police accountable for their plans, actions and decisions provides the necessary balance to the exercise of professional discretion by these officials. Accountability also provides a means by which the relationship between the police and the state can be kept under scrutiny - a way of providing insulation against internal and external interference with the proper function of the police.
Author W.F.M. LuytSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 21, pp 176 –195 (2008)More Less
South Africa entered its second decade as a democracy. During this period the State was obliged to transform in various areas of Government. The process of transformation was eagerly implemented and executed in the Department of Correctional Services. This Department is a major role-player in the criminal justice system. Responsibilities span over a large front and include the management of persons awaiting trial, sentenced offenders who are imprisoned, those sentenced to community corrections, and offenders who were released on parole. This article investigates that process of transformation. Particular areas of investigation include, inter alia, the reasons for transformation, Constitutional and other legal influences, personnel issues, prison crowding, management philosophies, privatisation of State assets, and dealing with HIV / AIDS. The investigation highlights successes in transformation, but also deals with areas where transformation could have been more successful. The discussion is regarded important for understanding progress and obstacles experienced by societies in transition.