Exploring students' perceptions on the nature and incidence of crime on university on-campus residence.
Makhaye, Mandisa Samukelisiwe.
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For decades crime has been an issue faced by different communities on a daily basis. With ever evolving dynamics within communities, crime has found a way to change and become a much more serious problem within societies, institutions and the country at large. This research, which was conducted at one of the University of KwaZulu Natal campuses (Howard College), showed that students faced victimisation throughout their academic careers. However, students enrol at universities with the shared dream of ensuring a secure and better future for themselves. Many students sacrifice much and go to great lengths to find their niche in the academic world. One facility that universities make available to students is student residences. However, these places of student accommodation are reportedly becoming crime zones where many students feel unsafe. The main aim of the study was therefore to explore university students’ perceptions of the nature and incidences of crime in on-campus residences. It is an undeniable fact that residences no longer offer safe accommodation for students. Daily routines and changing environments create an atmosphere that is conducive to criminal activity. The question that was therefore addressed was: What are the contributing factors and how can this violence be effectively dealt with? This research revealed that various dynamics impacted crime at university on-campus residences and that this was a common problem across different institutions. For instance, perpetrators of crime in campus residences were both fellow students and community members that infiltrated residences from the neighbouring community. It was concluded that theft, burglary and sexual assault were the most problematic crimes. Although the majority of crimes were not life-threatening in nature, they did affect student’s social and academic lives.