oa Crime Research in South Africa - The modus operandi of police killers in four provinces of South Africa

Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1605-5810



For the purposes of the research, all police officials who have survived an attack between 1996 and 1999 in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng,, were summoned to voluntary complete the questionnaire. The final result was a twenty percent response rate. KwaZulu-Natal completed 165, Gauteng 145, Western Cape 138 and the Eastern Cape completed 68 questionnaires. Only 478 of the 517 could be utilized for the final result. There were 39 questionnaires which could not be used for different reasons, mainly because they were not completed in full.

This research found that the attackers were more active since 1998. They tend to attack a little bit more during during the months of October. They prefer to attack on Friday and Saturday between 20:00 and 23:59, and they concentrate more in KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng Provinces. The attackers are on foot or using public transport. They shoot and stab their victims. They also use physical force to attack. They shoot, stab and use force more on male than on female police officials. The younger the attackers, the more they shoot, stab and use physical force. Usually they utilize handguns when executing the attacks. They ambush the police officials. They execute the majority of their attacks against police officials who are on duty. When the police are directly interacting with the public, that is when they attack, namely when they attend a complaint, when patrolling or investigating a crime. The attackers rob the male victims more times of their fire arms than the females.
It is recommended that the reasons why the attacks seem to be increasing, should be researched further. The way in which policing services are rendered during week-ends should be re-visited to prevent attacks. The reasons for more attacks in KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng should be researched further. All the elements of the modus operandi should be used to develop prevention strategies.

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