n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - An analysis of drug-related crime in the Western Cape, with specific reference to Mitchells Plain as a hotspot area

Volume 24, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



According to South African Police Service (SAPS) crime statistics (2009/10) the Western Cape has the highest number of drug-related crimes reported in the past ten years. The focus of this article firstly is to investigate why there are such a high number of drug-related crimes reported in the Western Cape in comparison with other provinces and secondly, why are there areas in the Western Cape with higher drug-related crime figures than in other areas reported? For example, Mitchells Plain Police Station on the Cape Flats has the highest drug-related crime figures of all the police stations in South Africa. In order to find answers to these questions, the Social Disorganization Theory as well as Ward's Theory of Risk and Protective Factors is applied. A case study in Mitchells Plain and a literature review reveals that low economic status, a mixture of different ethnic groups, disrupted families and broken homes are all elements found present in the communities of Mitchells Plain, contributing to "social disorganisation". These factors should be viewed within the broader context of a number of external socio-economic factors that impact on the prevention of substance abuse.

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