An exploratory study on public perceptions towards crime: a case study of Tongaat community in the KwaZulu-Natal province.
Khoza, Nontobeko Patience.
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On daily basis, crime has reportedly been an ever-rising issue not only in KZN but also all around the world. With the ever-changing laws and societies, crime has also been a changing phenomenon especially during the apartheid era, which had promoted inequality and then brought about poverty and unemployment among the people of South Africa. Studies have persistently established that poverty and unemployment have given rise to the occurrence of crime in the Democratic Republic of South Africa, as the poor are desperately attempting to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. Based on the conceptual analysis of strain and rational choice theories, the study aimed at gaining Tongaat people’s perceptions on crimes that are prevalent in the area, their causes as well as the effects of such crimes on individuals that reside in the community. Using one-on-one open-ended semi-structure interviews, data were collected to describe the phenomenon in relation to relevant literatures. The study identified sexual abuse, hijackings, and robberies, house-breaking to mention but a few as the most prevalent crimes in Tongaat community. Based on the findings of the study, possible policy recommendations were offered to reduce the crime rates in the area.