“Why fix it if ain’t broke”: Nature and extent of crime in the railway environment in South Africa
Keywords:Crime, railway environment, commuters, policing
This article explores the nature and extent of crime in the railway environment in South Africa. Crimes against Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, Transnet Freight Rail, Gautrain, and commuters are prevalent and the victims are being exposed to serious damage emanating from criminal activities. The challenges and implications for individuals and businesses, rich or poor consumers are recurrent themes in this study. A qualitative research approach was adopted to follow a non-probability purposive sample comprising 25 participants from the South African Police Service Rapid Rail Police Units. The data were collected through semi-structured interviews from research participants deployed in the Division: Visible Policing. The findings highlighted that the most prevalent crimes are cable theft, robberies and malicious property damage. The targeted trains are the Metro trains that operate locally, as they transport many commuters because it is the affordable mode of public transport in South Africa. The perpetrators also target this mode of transport because the train stations have an open system where perpetrators can easily access the entrance, therefore some do not even buy tickets and board the trains illegally. It is understood that Gautrain has a closed system and the security is advanced and watertight because of extra security measures such as the closed-circuit television cameras. Based on the findings, effective implementation of policies to improve safety is essential. Critical dialogues between all relevant.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Jacob Mofokeng, Cynthia Madzivhandila, Lesiba, Lolly Motsepe
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