Gareth Newham – Crime in South Africa

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Gareth Newham is the Head of the Crime and Justice Programme at the Institute for Security Studies. He has spent many years in the South African criminal justice environment, providing strategic input, undertaking research and programme implementation. He has in the past served as the Policy and Strategy Adviser to the Minister of the Executive Council at Gauteng Department of Community Safety, and has project managed the Criminal Justice Programme at the Centre for the Study of Violence.

He has run victims support programme, community policing programmes and has also spent long days patrolling the streets of Hillbrow – Johannesburg – with the South African Police, as a way of sensitising himself to the challenges that are faced in enforcing law in these areas.

About this Conversation

In this discussion, Gareth shares with us his insights, gained from working with victims of violence, perpetrators of violence and law enforcement, on crime and the criminal investigation environment in South Africa.

Gareth explores the realities of crime and corruption in South Africa; the nature of crime including violent crime; and makes sense of current statistics. Gareth believes that South Africa is not unique in terms of crime and corruption.

We also discuss the role for stakeholders and media in dealing with crime, the effectiveness of policing efforts and the changing perceptions of citizens. Gareth shared with us his rather unusual views on what long term efforts are needed to eradicate crime and empower civil society to become part of the solution.

Points of Discussion

  • Is crime in South Africa extraordinary and what characterizes crime in the South Africa?
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  • Are we naturally more violent than other countries?
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  • The murder problem in South Africa how bad is it?
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  • What are the crimes that affect the middle class in South Africa?
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  • Do you feel safe in South Africa?
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  • What do you think of the hysteria around our high crime rate and the role of the media?
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  • Is our high crime rate “fixable”?
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  • Are the South African Police “useless” and what does the bias towards private security say about South Africans?
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  • Do Police crackdowns work?
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  • What other strategies work to prevent crime?
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  • Are high arrest rates an indicator of policing success?
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  • What about traffic policing, the metro police forces?
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  • What is the space to partner with the police?
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  • What has the Institute for Security Studies being doing to bridge the gabs around community safety?
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Contact Details for Gareth Newham

Website: http://www.iss.co.za/crimehub/

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