n South African Journal of Criminal Justice - Proactive policing for the rich and reactive policing for the poor: hypocrisy in policing a stratified society

Volume 20, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1011-8527
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2118



The increase in the employment of private security by those who can afford it, and the sporadic occurrence of vigilantism in poorer communities, suggests that people's safety cannot be secured by one form of policing. Effective co-operation and co-ordination between bodies could enhance safety and security in a stratified society. This paper chiefly addresses vigilante policing. Vigilante policing is controversial and has been characterized as disorderly and illegitimate. Secondly, the paper highlights ways in which the state could provide comprehensive safety and security. Originally vigilante policing developed as there was no formal policing. Currently vigilante policing is a consequence of the perceived failure of the public police to provide sufficient security, and of the non-affordability of the private security alternative in poorer communities.

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