690.6 Gender perception of crime and its reduction amongst white South Africans in the province of KwaZulu-Natal

Saturday, August 4, 2012: 11:30 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Shanta BALGOBIND SINGH , School of Applied Human Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa




Gender Perception of Crime and its Reduction amongst White South Africans in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal

Shanta Balgobind-Singh

University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Perceptions of crime is constructed on the basis of an individuals personal estimation of the nature and incidence of crime in their environment; the perceived risk of becoming a victim of crime and on the basis of perceptions of significant others around them. The likelihood of a person becoming a victim of crime is strongly influenced by, among other things, gender, age, income, place of residence and race. Although the latest crime statistics in South Africa reveal that levels for certain categories of crime have decreased, rising levels of insecurity have become a key concern in society, posing a threat not only to social order and the economic well being of the country, but also to the quality of life for people. Public perceptions about the risk of criminal victimization and the fear of crime are influential in shaping policy and the priorities of state expenditure on law and order initiatives. If public concern about crime is driven by an exaggerated assessment of the risks of victimization then strategies need to be put in place to address the situation.

This paper explores gender perceptions of crime and its amelioration obtained from interview surveys conducted with the White populace in three different localities within the Province of Kwa-Zulu Natal at the scale of a city, town and a rural location. It highlights varied responses for the different gender groups based on their personal experiences which shape perceptions on strategies needed to address the overwhelming incidence of crime in the province.