Advertisement

Crime and Spatiality in South African Cities

  • Gregory D. BreetzkeEmail author
Chapter
Part of the GeoJournal Library book series (GEJL)

Abstract

The urban environment in which crime occurs plays an important role in shaping criminal behaviour. While space on its own explains little, the spatial patterning of urban crime is key to understanding and explaining its development and proliferation in society. South Africa is a country crippled with high levels of urban crime. Explanations provided for these high crime levels are myriad but tend to focus on the nations’ rising levels of poverty, unemployment, and inequality, among numerous others. While these explanations have enhanced researchers’ understanding of crime in the country, few are cognisant of the spatio-social design of South African cities; a consequence of apartheid-era urban geography. This is a shortcoming of previous explanations since urban spatiality plays a vital role in understanding the risk factors for crime, as well as their consequences. In this book chapter I highlight the important role that geography plays in explicating crime in South Africa and identify numerous spatially-based risk factors for crime. Various consequences of urban crime are provided, and specific policy recommendations made that emphasize the role that urban geography can play in combating crime in the country.

Keywords

Crime Urban spatiality South Africa Environmental criminology 

References

  1. Adepoju, A. (2003). Continuing and changing configurations of migration to and from the Republic of South Africa. International Migration, 41, 3–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Agozino, B. (2003). Counter-colonial criminology: A critique of imperialist reason. London, UK: Pluto.Google Scholar
  3. Agozino, B. (2017). Editorial: Critical perspectives on deviance and social control in rural Africa. African Journal of Criminology and Justice Studies, 10(1), 1–21.Google Scholar
  4. Akers, R. L. (1973). Deviant behavior: A social learning approach. Belmont, UK: Wadsworth.Google Scholar
  5. Altbeker, A. (2007). A country at war with itself: South Africa’s crisis of crime. Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball.Google Scholar
  6. Appiahene-Gyamfi, J. (2002). An analyses of the broad crime trends and patterns in Ghana. Journal of Criminal Justice, 30(3), 229–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Blackmore, F. L. E. (2003). A panel data analysis of crime in South Africa. South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences, 6(3), 439–458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brantingham, P. J., & Brantingham, P. L. (1981). Environmental criminology. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  9. Breetzke, G. D. (2006). Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and policing in South Africa: A review. Policing: An International Journal of Policing Strategies and Management, 29(4), 723–740.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Breetzke, G. D. (2010a). A socio-structural analysis of crime in the city of Tshwane, South Africa. South African Journal of Science, 106(11), 1–7.Google Scholar
  11. Breetzke, G. D. (2010b). Modeling violent crime rates: A test of social disorganization in the city of Tshwane, South Africa. Journal of Criminal Justice, 38(2010), 446–452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Breetzke, G. D. (2012). Understanding the nature of crime in post-apartheid South Africa. Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation, and Culture, 18(3), 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Breetzke, G. D. (2018). The concentration of urban crime in space by race: Evidence from South Africa. Urban Geography, 39(8), 1195–1220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Breetzke, G. D., & Edelstein, I. S. (2019). The spatial concentration of crime in a South African township. Security Journal, 32(1), 63–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Brown, K. V. (2001). The determinants of crime in South Africa. The South Africa Journal of Economics, 69(2), 269–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Bruce, D. (2013). A provincial concern? Political killings in South Africa. South African Crime Quarterly, 45, 13–24.Google Scholar
  17. Bursik, R. J. (1988). Social disorganization and theories of crime and delinquency: Problems and prospects. Criminology, 26(4), 519–551.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention (CJCP). (2008). Crime mapping and victimisation tool. Retrieved from http://196.15.148.231:8081/ka-map/.
  19. Chainey, S., & Ratcliffe, J. (2005). GIS and crime mapping. UK: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Coetzer, C. (2009). Crime prevention in neighbourhoods (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Pretoria: University of South Africa.Google Scholar
  21. Cohen, L. E., & Felson, M. (1979). Social change and crime rate trends: A routine activity approach. American Sociological Review, 44, 588–608.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Cooper, A. K., Byleveld, P., & Schmitz, P. M. U. (2001). Using GIS to reconcile crime scenes with those indicated by serial criminals. Paper presented at the 5th Annual Crime Mapping Research Conference, Dallas, TX.Google Scholar
  23. Schmitz P. M. U., Cooper, A., & Quick, G. (2002). Using satellite imagery for crime mapping in South Africa. Paper presented at the 6th Annual International Crime Mapping Research Conference, Denver, Colorado.Google Scholar
  24. Cornish, D., & Clarke, R. V. (1986). The reasoning criminal. New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. De Kock, C. (2000). The crime situation at national, provincial, area and station level. Crime Research in South Africa, 1(1), 1–12.Google Scholar
  26. Demombynes, G., & Özler, B. (2005). Crime and local inequality in South Africa. Journal of Development Economics, 76(2), 265–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Dewan, A. M., Haider, R., & Amin, R. (2013). Exploring crime statistics. In A. M. Dewan & R. Corner (Eds.), Dhaka megacity: Geospatial perspectives on urbanisation, environment and health (pp. 257–282). The Netherlands: Springer.Google Scholar
  28. Donaldson, R., & Kotze, Nico. (2006). Residential desegregation dynamics in the South African city of Polokwane. Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, 97(5), 567–582.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Edelstein, I. (2018). What is the success factor behind SA’s latest public safety policy? Presentation at the Institute for Security Studies Seminar Series, Pretoria, South Africa.Google Scholar
  30. Ekblom, P. (2000). The conjunction of criminal opportunity. In S. Ballintyne, K. Pease, & V. McLaren (Eds.), Secure foundations (pp. 30–66). London: IPPR.Google Scholar
  31. Eloff, C., & Prinsloo, J. (2009). Application of spatial technology and multi-use land classes in aid of a crime management strategy: A microanalytical approach. Acta Criminologica, 22(3), 24–42.Google Scholar
  32. Evans, D. J. (1980). Geographical perspectives on juvenile delinquency. United Kingdom: Gower.Google Scholar
  33. Gilfillan, T. C. (1999). Modelling crime statistics with the 1996 census data. Pretoria: Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Press.Google Scholar
  34. Gwala, B. (2007). Debate on the democratic alliance motion. Retrieved from http://archive.ifp.org.za/Speeches/070607bsp.htm.
  35. Haefele, B. (2011). An analysis of drug-related crime in the Western Cape, with specific reference to Mitchells Plain as a hotspot area. Acta Criminologica, 24(3), 72–82.Google Scholar
  36. Hentschel, C. (2015). Security in the bubble: Navigating crime in urban South Africa. University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  37. Hiropolous, A., & Porter, J. (2014). Visualising property crime in Gauteng. South African Crime Quarterly, 47, 17–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Lancaster, L., & Kamman, E. (2016). Risky localities: Measuring socioeconomic characteristics of high murder areas. South African Crime Quarterly, 56, 27–35.Google Scholar
  39. Landman, K., & Kruger, T. (2009). Facilitating the implementation of a CPTED (Crime Prevention through Environmental Design) Programme in eThekwini. Report Prepared for The eThekwini Municipality Area Based Management and Development Programme, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).Google Scholar
  40. Lemanski, C. (2004). A new apartheid? The spatial implications of fear of crime in Cape Town, South Africa. Environment and Organization, 16(2), 101–112.Google Scholar
  41. Liu, D., Song, W., & Xiu, C. (2016). Spatial patterns of violent crime and neighborhoods characteristics in Changchun, China. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 49(1), 53–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Lochner, F. C., & Zietsman, H. L. (1998). Using geographical information systems (GIS) for policing in South Africa: A case study in Paarl. South African Geographical Journal, 80(1), 60–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Lowman, J. (1986). Conceptual issues in the geography of crime: Towards a geography of social control. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 76(1), 81–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Mabin, A. (2005). Suburbanisation, segregation and government of territorial transformations. Transformation, 57(1), 41–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Metz, T. (2011). Ubuntu as a moral theory and human rights in South Africa. African Human Rights Law Journal, 11(2), 532–559.Google Scholar
  46. Newham, G. (2005). A decade of crime prevention in South Africa: From a national strategy to a local challenge. Research report written for the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR).Google Scholar
  47. O’Regan, C., Pikoli, V., Bawa, N., Sidaki, T., & Dissel, A. (2014). Towards a safer Khayelitsha: The report of the commission of inquiry into allegations of police inefficiency and a breakdown in relations between SAPS and the community in Khayelitsha. Retrieved from http://www.khayelitshacommission.org.za/.
  48. Olivier, B. (2014). Crime: There is something rotten in the state of South Africa. Retrieved from http://thoughtleader.co.za/bertolivier/2014/10/27/crime-there-is-something-rotten-in-the-state-of-south-africa/.
  49. Ovens, M. (2003). A criminological approach to crime in South Africa. Acta Criminologica, 16(3), 67–80.Google Scholar
  50. Overall, C., Singh, S., & Gcina, B. (2008, May/June). Crime mapping and analysis: Filling the gaps. PositionIT, 37–40.Google Scholar
  51. Parker, K., Stults, B., & Rice, S. (2005). Racial threat, concentrated disadvantage and social control: Considering the macro level sources of variation in arrests. Criminology, 43(4), 1111–1134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Rauch, J. (2002). Changing step: Crime prevention policy in South Africa. In E. Pelser (Ed.), Crime prevention partnerships: Lessons from practice (pp. 10–26). Institute for Security Studies: Pretoria.Google Scholar
  53. Ross, C. E. (2000). Neighborhood disadvantage and adult depression. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 41(2), 177–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Sampson, R. J., & Wilson, W. J. (1995). Toward a theory of race, crime, and urban inequality. In J. Hagan & R. Peterson (Eds.), Crime and inequality (pp. 37–56). Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  55. Schmitz, P. M. U., & Stylianides, T. (2002). Mapping crime levels and court efficiency per magisterial district in South Africa. Paper presented at the 6th Annual International Crime Mapping Research Conference, Denver, Colorado.Google Scholar
  56. Schwabe, C. A., & Schurink, W. J. (2000). A Classification of Police Stations in South Africa: Towards a Better Understanding of Crime. Unpublished research report for the South African Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology (DACST), Pretoria.Google Scholar
  57. Shaw, C., & McKay, H. D. (1942). Juvenile delinquency and urban areas. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  58. Snyders, E., & Landman, K. (2018). Perceptions of crime hot spots and real locations of crime incidents in two South African neighbourhoods. Security Journal, 31(1), 265–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. South African Police Services. (2017). SA crime stats. Retrieved from https://www.saps.gov.za/services/crimestats.php.
  60. Statistics South Africa. (2011). Main place. Retrieved from http://www.statssa.gov.za/?page_id=4286&id=328.
  61. Turner, F. (2013). City says violence prevention efforts are working, but activists sceptical. Retrieved from https://www.groundup.org.za/article/city-says-violence-prevention-efforts-working-activists-sceptical/.
  62. Weir-Smith, G. (2004). Crime mobility: Spatial modelling of routine activities of arrestees and substance abusers in South Africa. GeoJournal, 59(3), 209–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Weisburd, D., & Amram, S. (2014). The law of concentrations of crime at place: The case of Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Police Practice and Research, 15(2), 101–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Willis, C. L., Evans, T. D., & LaGrange, R. L. (1999). “Down home” criminology: The place of indigenous.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and MeteorologyUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations