n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Effective community policing in practice : the Roodekrans neighbourhood watch case study, West Rand

Volume 24, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



The concept of community policing, in a symbiotic relationship with traditional policing by the South African Police Service, has been introduced more successfully in certain communities than others. The purpose of this article is to fill the gap in the literature by providing a review of a successful community policing case study. This case study illustrates the benefits of empowering communities to take ownership of community safety in South Africa and to explore how the concept of community policing, in particular neighbourhood watches, can effectively be put into practice. While previous studies have highlighted the role of the police in driving community policing, this article focuses on the role and contribution of communities themselves, and neighbourhood watches specifically, as effective vehicles of community policing and crime prevention. This article also illustrates an attempt to bridge gaps between academic theory and practice in the field of community policing. This case study demonstrates the development process of reflective practice and its contribution to a deeper understanding of community policing theory and the informative value of practice for further theory building. This article concludes with recommendations for communities and the police to optimise the use of neighbourhood watches as proactive community policing ventures.

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