SACQ 61 covers a range of topics, from police investigations of commercial crimes to restorative justice and illegal mining. In our first of five research articles, Trevor Budhram and Nicolaas Geldenhuys use SAPS performance data to suggest that police are losing the battle against commercial crime. With a focus on detection rates, they convincingly argue that the SAPS’ performance is unjustifiably weak, and that this is hidden by the way it captures performance data.

Next, John Kole asks whether private security officers (PSO) could better support the SAPS’ crime prevention mandate if they had more legal authority. He explores this through data from interviews and a survey carried out with senior private security and SAPS managers, as well as with operational officers, and is surprised at what he finds.

Emma Lubaale compares judgements in South African and New Zealand criminal court cases, asking whether South African courts should better balance custodial and restorative justice sentences. She suggests that South African courts incorrectly perceive restorative justice sentences as weak .

In his article, Sean Larner takes us inside the Rebuilding and Life Skills Training Centre (Realistic) in Gugulethu, Cape Town, and into the lives of some of the young ex-offenders who have been through its programmes. Using in-depth interviews, he explores the obstacles faced by young ex-offenders and the impact of Realistic’s reintegration programme.

Have you heard of a Design Basis Threat (DBT)? If not, Cyrus Cyril Arwui, Victor Tshivhase and Rudolph Nchodu article offers insight into the formulation of DBT statements for nuclear facilities. DBT’s are recommended by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as a methodology to secure radioactive sites. Readers may be surprised by the types of data used and assumptions made in the formulation of a DBT, including a reliance on reported crime numbers (not rates) in nearby towns.

Finally, in a commentary and analysis piece, Mbekezeli Mkhize reviews the challenges and opportunities posed by illegal artisanal (small scale) mining in South Africa.

Published: 2017-09-29