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The role of private security in crime prevention

Submitted in fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Criminal Justice University of Zululand, 2002. / Protection of life and property is an age-old need of human beings. Through the ages, territoriality and personal interest played an important role in the protection of life and property.
The historical development of private security throughout the world displays a colourful history - from ancient to modem times. The birth of modem policing originated as a result of private security during the beginning of the 19th century. Since then, private security developed into a formidable entity - to such an extent that since the beginning of the seventies in America private security surpassed public policing. Presently, private security in South Africa has also outgrown public policing.
The present study aims at narrowing the gap in our substantive knowledge about the role of private security in crime prevention by means of two structured questionnaires - one for public and one for private security respondents.
The study aims at the following:
> to record the evolution of private security from ancient to modem times
> to compare the perceptions of both public and private security respondents in
regard to the role and function of private security in crime prevention
> to establish how respondents feel about security measures aimed at eliminating
crime opportunities
> to establish which precautionary measures respondents take to protect themselves.
Research techniques implemented in this study are the following:
> A literature study regarding a wide range of aspects pertaining to the role of
private security in crime prevention.
** Structured questionnaires reflecting the demographic (independent variables) of the respondents as well as their responses on the dependent variable.

> Non-probability techniques.
> Frequency distributions and cross-correlation of statistical information intended to
provide a greater clarity about the dependent variable.
The findings of the study indicated that:
> The role of private security in society in general and in crime prevention in
particular have been rated very important by both sampling groups.
> Specific functions of private security have been favourably evaluated by the
> Specific security measures in crime prevention have also been rated as very
> Aspects relating to the role of private security in society have been favourably
rated by both sampling groups.
The following recommendations have been formulated:
> Special police status for private security officers.
> Tax credits for individual security expenditures.
> Transfer of specific public police duties to private security.
> Academic and basic training for the development of private security officers.
> Greater public police - private security co-operation.
Date January 2002
CreatorsSteenkamp, Douw Gerbrand
ContributorsPotgieter, P.J.
Source SetsSouth African National ETD Portal
Detected LanguageEnglish

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