An investigative study on the perceptions of university of KwaZulu-Natal Risk Management Services (RMS) on campus safety.
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University institutions are already overwhelmed by academic challenges without having to worry about crimes that plague the university campuses. The provision of and daily efforts of campus protective services are therefore important in maintaining a peaceful, safe and conducive learning environment. However, constant reports and the increasing levels of crime on campus have led to the call for researchers to investigate the determining factors of these crimes. One critical aspect is that research efforts so far have been focused on the perspective of students on campus crimes and safety; and have not adequately considered to capture the perspective of the campus protective services or security officers. Security officers are often looked upon or expected to provide safety on campus and are, therefore, challenged to meet the expected standard to prevent crimes on campus. The focus of this study is, therefore, grounded in investigating the perceptions of security officers on campus safety at UKZN Howard College Campus. In order to comprehensively capture their perceptions, the following objectives were examined: the types of crime that occur on campus, the challenges encountered in dealing with these crimes, intervention remedies or response to these crimes and their effectiveness. The study adopted one-on-one in-depth interviews methodological approach to generate its data. Empirical findings from the study revealed that there are a number of crimes that disrupt the proper functioning of and daily lives of the university community. These crimes include but are not limited to property theft, assaults and alcohol use. Findings also unfolded that security officers’ that attempts to prevent these crimes have often been encountered by challenges which have, in turn, adversely affected the intervention remedies ever put in place to arrest the horrible situation of crimes on campuses. Based on the research study’s findings, recommendations were made with an intention to assist on-campus protective services in improving their measures in crime prevention.