n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Criminology theories : an analysis of livestock theft cases

Volume 28, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



This article describes the uniqueness of livestock theft as a rural crime that needs to be attended to in a more specialised manner than other crimes against property in rural areas. Specific livestock theft cases are used to demonstrate by means of environmental criminology theories that livestock theft occurs within a specific rural environment and that generalisation of the crimes is not always possible due to the type of crime that is committed. The events of the crimes create much awareness regarding crime, space and time and the involved social media and other technologies that can be used to detect livestock theft crimes in future. The importance of distinguishing between urban and rural crimes is strongly emphasised, as well as the different principles of Routine Activity Theory, Crime Pattern Theory, Rational Choice Theory and Buffer Zone Theory. It is found that these principles do have an impact on conceptions of how the crime of livestock theft is committed by a commuting style perpetrator. The fact that legislation needs to be adhered to by the public at large to reduce crime is also addressed, as well as the fact that the drafting of legislation needs to be absolutely clear and unambiguous; otherwise it creates confusion for the courts and contributes to offenders not being sentenced in accordance with the law. The findings of this article will, hopefully, provide some guidance to the criminal justice system, not only on how to detect crimes in rural settings, but also on how important the involvement of society is for crime reduction.

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