Public Order Policing: A Challenge for South African Police Service

Ms Khethiwe  Mawai1
1University Of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa

The policing response to increasing violent community protests in South Africa has received global attention in the last decade. This study was conducted with a backdrop of increased concern over skirmish and violence during service delivery protests. Criticisms has been voiced by various role-players in injuries and killings of civilians during protests. Too little is known about community members experiences on the policing of protests in rural communities. This study seeks to assess the strategies that lead to the injuries and even loss of lives that civilians experience in the hands of the police. Hence the study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of POP strategies in curbing common acts of violence during protests particularly in Vuwani area of Vhembe District, Limpopo Province. The study will adopted  Mixed methods and was formative evaluation in nature. Primary data was collected from all POP units in Limpopo Province. A total of  8  Focus Group Discussions in all 8 units  comprising of 5 members totalling to 40 POP members were conducted. A total of 200 questionnaires were randomly distributed to community members of Vuwani area in Limpopo Province. Secondary data were gathered through documentary analysis and research reports.  Quantitative Data was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Science and qualitative data  was analysed using themes.  It is envisaged that the findings of this study informs POP strategy review about civilian views, experiences and perceptions. This is important in ensuring that POP remains responsive and relevant to the needs of the community at large.


Ms Khethiwe Mawai is a Junior lecturer at the University of Venda, Department of Criminal Justice, School of Law. She has obtain Bachelor of Arts in Criminology, BA honours in Criminology from University of Limpopo. She is currently studying Masters in Criminal Justice at the University of Venda. Her area of interest is Crime prevention, Policing and Victimology.  She is a member of Criminological Society of Africa.



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