We are increasingly paying more attention to the damaging impact that environmental crime has on the environment and ecosystems, peace, security and development. Read the article in Servamus: September 2017 from pp 10 – 13.
Ever thought about the security risks associated with the illegal dumping of medical waste on dump sites in South Africa? We tell you more about prosecution and minimising the risk of cross-contamination. Read the article in Servamus: September 2017 from pp 34-35.
Did you know that there was a link between pollution and crime? We didn’t, until we researched the topic and found that exposure to toxic substances (including lead) was higher among violent criminals. Interesting! Read the article in Servamus: September 2017 from pp 31 – 33.
Following a spate of criminal incidents around the OR Tambo International Airport, the Minister of Police unveiled the integrated multi-disciplinary tactical security plan for this national key point. Read the article in Servamus: September 2017 from pp 50-51.
By Annalise Kempen
Some call it a new form of Apartheid ... some call it an excuse for criminality. Given the massive migration seen in the past decade throughout the world, and despite xenophobia not being unique to South Africa, it seems that it is a phenomenon that is extremely hard to tackle and get viable solutions for. It is a phenomenon where the dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries seems to increase with time.
It seems that every year or so, South Africa experiences an outbreak of xenophobia. Why it happens, often out of the blue, is a difficult question to answer. One of the latest incidents happened towards the end of February 2017, when scores of seemingly foreign-owned shops in Atteridgeville and Lotus Gardens were damaged and looted. Chances that every single one of the affected shops was being owned by foreigners, are highly unlikely.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
All stock photos are posed
Something is very wrong in South Africa. Why are we experiencing so much violence? Our court rolls are shocking - with accused standing trial for the rape and murder of children; youngsters standing trial for murdering their parents; men being accused for murdering their wives; and armed robberies turning to murder - the list is never ending.
While the majority of South Africans are law-abiding citizens, many South Africans have little respect for the law. The general attitude of South Africans towards the law is demonstrated by the large number of people who are driving without wearing seat belts; driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol; using their cellphones while driving or ignoring red traffic lights. And to add fuel to fire, people in positions of authority who abuse their power and blatantly ignore the law set no example for others to encourage respect for the law. Gould (2014) argues that, as long as those holding political office appear to act with impunity, or cynically manipulate the criminal justice system to dodge very serious allegations of the abuse of power and state resources, we cannot reasonably expect other South African citizens to respect the law.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
It is early in the morning and the residents of a small town wake up to the smell of smoke and the chanting of protesters. Upon trying to go to work, residents find their roads barricaded, shops looted and a school almost burnt down. Smoke fills the air and flashing blue lights indicate that the police are at hand to keep a close eye on the protesters and, if necessary, to keep them under control with water cannons and tear smoke. Some residents join the protest march, others simply turn around and phone the office to tell them they can’t get to work.
Protest actions have formed part of the South African landscape for many years, and are, in essence, not bad since they give people an opportunity to express their problems and concerns. Mass demonstrations act as a potent weapon in the hands of people who, as individuals, have little power and are seldom listened to by those in power. It is exactly because such protests cause inconvenience and disruption and sometimes limit the rights of others, that they are noticed and may have an impact.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
It is a big concern that a large number of violent protests undermine the SAPS's crime prevention efforts. When protestors block roads and damage property, the police need to divert their resources away from other responsibilities and activities in order to disperse protestors.
The police are often criticised for their role in violent protests. They were almost solely blamed for what went wrong at Marikana in August 2012, where police shot and killed 34 striking miners and wounded 76 others, after two of their own were hacked to death. By the end of 2015, South Africa saw protests on university campuses which involved widespread disruption of teaching programmes by these protestors (Bruce, 2016b). This time, the police were blamed for responding too quickly.