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- Volume 27, Issue 1, 2014
Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Volume 27, Issue 1, 2014
Volumes & issues
Volume 27, Issue 1, 2014
Author Lillian ArtzSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 27, pp I –III (2014)More Less
After a cursory scan of the articles within this edition of Acta Criminologica, one is struck by the diverse collection of "criminologies" and explorations into crime (and victimisation), as well as the wide range of evidence-based reforms that are on offer to institutions and systems created to address these issues. One is also struck by the interdisciplinary nature of the criminological subject matter with which the authors engage. In this, and other editions of Acta Criminologica, you will find that criminological work has not only emerged from the conventional corridors of criminology, but it has dynamically manifested within, and across, the humanities and social sciences. Research exploring the antecedents, predictors and impacts of crime can also be found in the health sciences, economics and the clinical and mental health disciplines, to name just a few. This edition of Acta Criminologica illustrates that not only is there a wide spectrum of topics that occupy criminological research, but that criminological inquiries have gone inter-continental, technological and retro-theoretical. In this edition, authors reconsider conventional criminological theory, as well as stimulate progressive perspectives on modern-day events that our grounding theories on crime and deviance could not have anticipated.
Women's routes to crime and incarceration in South African correctional centres : implications for rehabilitationAuthor N.P. DastileSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 27, pp 1 –12 (2014)More Less
This paper seeks to examine women's routes to crime and incarceration to illuminate the lived social realities of women in correctional centres. The motivation is derived from the fact that the female offender has not received a scholarly spotlight in South Africa. The author notes a general gender-blindness in the dominant literature on the routes to female offending in South Africa, which has culminated in over-concentration on the male offender. A focus on these routes is very important in that it deals with that social constituency that is vulnerable within societies and specifically correctional centres that remain over populated by male offenders. From interviews with incarcerated women, it was clarified what the existential circumstances of incarcerated women are, according to race, class and gendered subjectivities. Such interlocking experiences were gleaned from the women's socio-demographic profile, high levels of unemployment and limited skills among black women prior to incarceration, as well as gendered vulnerabilities, such as women being the sole income providers for their children as well as related dysfunctional relationships in marriage and romantic relationships. These gendered experiences are crucial to guide policies in respect of correctional assessment and rehabilitative and intervention programming during incarceration. The author will discuss the socio-cultural existential circumstances, as well as micro-entanglements that need to be taken into account as they impact on the reformulation of policies with respect to women's needs while incarcerated in correctional centres.
Author Corene De WetSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 27, pp 13 –29 (2014)More Less
The aim of this article is to report on findings from a qualitative study on the risk factors for workplace bullying in South African schools. Hodson, Roscigno and Lopez's (2006) two dimensional model of bullying was used as theoretical framework. Educators, who were furthering their studies at the University of the Free State, were invited to take part in a study on different types of bullying. Deductive, directed content analysis was used to analyse educators' answers to an open-ended question on the risk factors for workplace bullying. The study established that risk factors for workplace bullying can be found in the relationship between the powerful bullies and the powerless, vulnerable victims, as well as in schools where organisational chaos reigns as a result of, among other things, incompetent and unprincipled leadership. The key findings of the study are, to a large extent, a confirmation of South African and international studies on workplace bullying in educational and non-educational work environments. It is therefore recommended that further studies should probe the reasons for these commonalities across workplace and geopolitical divides. The study concludes with general guidelines on how to address workplace bullying.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 27, pp 30 –46 (2014)More Less
Labeling theory posits that formal punishment of juvenile offenders contributes to an increase in future deviance due to the fixation of the criminal status. Studies have inadequately examined how personal characteristics and social process / interactional variables relate. Using Children at Risk (CAR) data we examined social process and interaction using four variables: weak commitment to school, family conflict, risks seeking behavior and negative perception of the police. Results for regression analyses showed that the effect of arrest on subsequent delinquency resulted in a 100 percent increase and 110 percent decrease in magnitude when family conflict and school commitment, respectively, increased one unit from the mean. Additionally, the magnitude of the effect of arrest, or formal labeling on future delinquent behavior increases by 154 percent when negative perception of the police is one unit above its mean.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 27, pp 47 –56 (2014)More Less
The aim of this study was to assess stalking victimisation in the context of intimate partner violence in a sample of women receiving a protection order in South Africa. In all, 268 women (18 years and older) receiving a protection order in the Vhembe district in South Africa, were assessed by an external interviewer. Results indicated that from the total sample, 58.2 percent reported stalking victimisation. In multivariate regression analysis, younger age, lower physical violence, and higher utilisation of strategic responses to abuse were associated with stalking, while psychological abuse, sexual violence, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and partner characteristics were not associated with stalking. In conclusion, the study illustrates that a significant number of physically abused women were victimised by stalking. Several factors were identified with higher rates of stalking which can be utilised for interventions.
Asian passengers' safety study : the problem of sexual molestation of women on trains and buses in Chennai, IndiaSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 27, pp 57 –74 (2014)More Less
Sexual molestation on public transport systems is prevalent in many parts of the world. A sizeable number of the commuting population in India who use public transport are students. The present study is a part of larger on-going research in other Asian countries. Japanese and Indonesian studies have revealed that a majority of the victims of sexual molestation on public transport have been women. Therefore, the present research has been conducted with an Indian sample of N=655 female students from a women's only colleges in the city of Chennai, India. The study draws its data from a questionnaire and from recent media reports. The paper illuminates the incidence of sexual molestation in public transport in an Indian metropolis with a focus on communication about the event and victim blaming. The results reveal that slightly over half of the participants have been victimised at least once and out of them fifty percent of the victims have been repeatedly victimised. Most of the victims report they were angry and irritated, however very few report that they were ashamed. Also, a significant number of participants, victims and non-victims, felt that the reason for this, was that the woman was wearing revealing clothes and therefore to be blamed. Although a majority of the participants believe it is important to communicate about the problem, they agree that it is not easy to report sexual molestation to the police. Victim blaming and lack of appropriate victim support systems play a significant role in the reluctance to communicate about such victimisations.
Polish police officers' perceptions on community policing : the ambivalent force : a study amongst a group of Polish police officersSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 27, pp 75 –89 (2014)More Less
The article is based on a quantitative research project amongst police officers in Poland. South Africa as well as Poland transformed peacefully from an oppressive to a democratic state. A Likert scale questionnaire was used to collect data on the selected variables as set out in the conceptualisation in the article. Data were analysed using SPSS. Due to relatively low responses in the intervals at the extreme ends of the data of the age variable, some cells contain less than five counts, which made it impossible to use Chi2 in all instances. In certain instances the Chi2 was calculated by adding totals of some cells in the age intervals while in other instances the asymptotic standard error was employed. Polish police officers' perceptions on community policing, crime reduction and transformation were measured. The study experienced some limitations, such as the sample size and the numbers of respondents within certain cells of the age intervals. These will be discussed at the end of the article. One of the major outcomes of the research is that respondents have given 'not sure' as a response in an extraordinary proportion. This ambivalent character is probably the most significant finding of the research.
Author Phillip J. PotgieterSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 27, pp 90 –113 (2014)More Less
After almost two decades, both the police and policing in South Africa have not yet been fully transformed in terms of democratic ideals. Seemingly, the police are still clinging to unpopular authoritarian policing methods and techniques reminiscent of the apartheid era. The overwhelming reactive inclination of the South African Police Service (SAPS) is characterised by impersonal police service delivery. Apparently, the current police mandate of keeping peace and order creates in itself, a 'mechanism' through which the police have relieved citizens of the responsibility to police themselves. However, upholding peace and order encounters many contradictions as a result of diverse public expectations and demands. Police service delivery through the proactive eradication of crime opportunities constitutes the most import function of democratic policing. An empirically-driven exploration of the reasons for not having reported crime to the police, indicate among other, negative police attitudes towards the public: the police are apathetical, i.e. acting with little enthusiasm and apparent inefficiency when performing their role. Public expectations about police role performance also seem to suffer as a result of police operational characteristics which may hamper sound police-public relationships. An analysis of four variable-clusters confirms an unfavourable image of the police. The lack in setting an example in terms of their own obedience to the law, followed by deviant characteristics such as: abuse of power and authority, arrogance and corruptive behaviour are important indicators in this regard. Police brutality has been evaluated with somewhat less concern compared to aggressiveness. Brutal police actions are 'rewarded' by the respondents, presumably because of a belief that criminals who commit serious violent crimes such as rape, armed robbery, murder, etc. often need to be treated harshly and even 'taught a lesson' when brought to 'book'. Improved (personalised) police service delivery and the just and human treatment of all people are poised to improve the police image.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 27, pp 114 –128 (2014)More Less
Corruption in all its facets can undermine democratic stability in any country. With reference to the sphere of public policing, the specific features of policing make corruption an occupational hazard; a fact not limited to Africa only, but is endemic the world over. The increased emphasis placed internationally and especially in Africa, on the need to root out corruption, underpins the need for the improvement of professional conduct by police officials. The police in South Africa and Ethiopia are challenged on various levels to effectively deal with corruption in the very agencies which are constitutionally mandated to protect and serve their citizens. The research question which underpins this article is the extent to which structural mechanisms are in place to deal with corruption in Ethiopia and South Africa. This analysis will be utilised to make recommendations on caveats which should be adhered to, in order to strengthen the barricade against police corruption and allow a strategy to develop for the combating of corruption. This study utilises a comparative perspective of questioning the measures which are in place to enhance accountability, build a culture of police integrity and promote community mobilisation and is descriptive in nature. The design of the study is parallel and the data sources used are official and research-based documentation which speak to the elements of professionalism in terms of corruption in each country. A researcher indigenous to each country collected the data, thus ensuring cultural contextualisation and overcoming the language barrier. This article examines the strengths and weaknesses in the corruption prevention scaffolding in each democracy, identifies ways in which these might be strengthened and determines whether the lessons learned are transferable from one to the other.
Author David MasiloaneSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 27, pp 129 –143 (2014)More Less
Crime statistics provide the public with the state of the country's crime levels and empower people to make informed decisions on where they want to live or operate their businesses from. Being aware of these crime levels helps them to decide on the form and level of security (low; medium; high) that they may use to protect themselves against crime and victimisation. Crime encroaches on people's freedom and liberties and therefore, the ability of the police to manage crime should be central to the public's need for safety and security. The analysis and the subsequent interpretation of crime statistics are not only important for police operations but also for the society at large. This allows us to expose a broad spectrum of factors that contribute to crime levels which the public has to take into account to reduce their vulnerability to crime. This article seeks to analyse crime statistics within the context of more policeable and less policeable crimes. This categorisation is constantly used by the South African Police Service (SAPS) to explain crime incidents. The irony of this categorisation is the paradox it creates when the decrease of the so-called less policeable crimes is attributed to police activities, while the same activities are not seen to be impacting positively on the so-called more policeable crimes. This raises the question: are the so-called less policeable crimes indeed less policeable and the so-called more policeable crimes indeed more policeable?
Case docket analysis : an effective crime information product for criminal investigators, crime analysts and crime researchersSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 27, pp 144 –159 (2014)More Less
The use of case docket analysis as a crime information product is often documented as significant to many criminal fact-finding activities. Despite the often theoretical reference to case docket analysis in literature, such as research papers and crime reports, the understanding and real-life experiences of criminal investigators, crime analysts and crime researchers regarding the practicability of this product remain silent. Insight into the dynamics of case docket analysis could inform these role-players of the value of case docket analysis as an effective crime information product. This article explores and describes criminal investigators', crime analysts' and crime researchers' first-hand understanding and operational experiences about the 'what', 'why' and 'how' of case docket analysis to assist in uncovering the hidden transcripts in crime data and translating such data into usable empirical evidence. The data was generated from a sample of Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Unit detectives, experts from the Investigative Psychology Unit (IPU) of the South African Police Service (SAPS) and crime analysts and information managers attached to the SAPS's Crime Information Management Centre (CIMC) and Organised Crime Unit. The experiences of the selected sample were probed by means of semi-structured interviews. From the results of this research it was confirmed that docket analysis serves to understand holistically the different dynamics and contributing factors of crime, fuel policing and investigative decision making, analyse specific crime incidents in terms of, amongst others, modus operandi, possibilities for linkages and narrows down the scope of an investigation. This study concluded that case docket analysis is information-driven and a viable and effective crime information product that has the potential to narrow the focus of criminal investigation. Finally, this article recommends the implementation of a more specific and analytical approach to case docket analysis as opposed to a generalised and haphazard approach. It is the view of the authors that the aforementioned approach would contribute significantly to a more pragmatic methodology which gives due credence to criminal investigation as a systematic and organised search for the truth.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 27, pp 160 –175 (2014)More Less
Observations made by the authors of this article, suggest that investigators in South Africa may possibly be conditioned by tradition to limit their search for physical clues or traces to a crime scene and not to consider the use of new investigative approaches to find traces that are recorded at a remote location from the crime scene. The type of evidence presented in court cases also suggest that investigators focus exclusively on the Locard Principle or Contact Theory - traces left behind at a crime scene due to physical contact between objects and people at the scene. These observations suggest that the traditional concept of the Locard Principle is so strictly adhered to that it constrains the investigator who wants to think innovatively. For example conceptualising other places where traces of contact may be found. The objective of this article is to explore the concept of modern criminal investigation with regard to cellphone technology and critically analyse the relevancy of the Locard Principle regarding traces left by cellphones that were found at a crime scene. The article, furthermore, examines that the Lochner Principle determines that even though a cellphone signal might be present as a trace at a crime scene, proof of the signal can only be found on the electronic database of the cellphone service provider, which is kept at a location some distance from the crime scene. A discussion of the two principles and practical examples show how traces are left behind in terms of Locard's principle and the effect that the application of both these principles would have had on recent criminal cases. The authors further postulate, as a second focus point in the article, that data automatically generated by the cellphone on the computer server other than when a call or text messages is made, can be used as additional data to determine the location of a cellphone at a crime scene. The article, therefore, aims to provide additional dimensions to be considered when thinking about the detection of traces according to the Locard Principle. The data is based on a review of current literature and applied research on how cellphone technology can be used by investigators. The analysis of the data, among others, is done in the context of the authors' experience as academics and former investigators and contains an element of action research.