Comparative analysis on public vigilantism: A case of Thulamela and Musina within Vhembe District in the Limpopo Province

Mr Ndivho Percy Sithuga1

1University of Venda, South Africa


The study will explores and compares the incidents of vigilantism perpetuated in Thohoyandou and Musina respectively within Vhembe District in the Limpopo province. The word ‘vigilantism’ as utilized in this study can be explained as a situation where general members of the community take law into their own hands and administering what they perceive as “instant justice” as a collective response to suspects or persons who are suspected of committing crime. The researcher opted to use triangulated research design in the sense that exploratory and comparative design were deemed suitable for the clarification of the phenomena under investigation. Furthermore, the researcher will use both qualitative and quantitative methodology in this proposed study. This study will rely on the available participants if not units to collect empirical data. The collected information will be thematically presented and content analysis will be provided in documentary samples. Further to this qualitative raw data collected through interviews will be rearranged, edited and presented followed by scientific interpretation and analysis. Qualitative data will be captured, coded and analysed through the use of SPSS programme. The study adopted Frustration and Aggression theory and Differential Association theory. The study recommends that those who engage on this activities should get harsher punishment as a form of generic deterrence.


Not provided.


Sugar, Slavery and the Birth of Preventive Policing: the case of the Thames Water Police

Amanda Porter1

1Jumbunna Institute of Indigenous Education and Research, the University of Technology Sydney


Many policing histories take as their point of departure the development of the Anglo-American ‘state’ or ‘public’ police—the establishment of the Metropolitan Police Force in 1829 or the development of a centralised municipal police forces America from the 1830s onwards. These accounts tend to emphasise certain ideals and features about the police and policing—their communitarian ethos and overarching concern with securing ‘public safety’. Not only do these conventional accounts represent heavily sanitised versions of policing history, they remain deficient in many other significant respects. In particular, they overlook important developments in the ‘global periphery’ but they also tend to overemphasise the role of ‘the State’ in trends and developments in policing history.

This paper examines the history of a neglected but significant forerunner to the modern police: the Thames River Police. The Thames River Police was a private police force established at Wapping several decades before the Metropolitan Police Force and funded almost entirely by the West India Committee, a political lobbying collective representing the interests of plantation owners. Drawing on archival research including recently transcribed correspondence between Patrick Colquhoun and Jeremy Bentham, this paper reconsiders some of the key characters and tropes in conventional accounts of policing history. As this paper argues, the development of the modern ‘preventive’ police in the metropole had less to do with public safety than it did with the protection of private property. This paper demonstrates the ways in which the relationship between the development of ‘security’ and imperialism are intextricably linked.


Amanda Porter is a senior researcher at Jumbunna Institute of Indigenous Education and Research, the University of Technology Sydney. Most of her research and publications to date have concerned the politics of policing and police reform since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. She is especially interested in non-state and alternative policing initiatives and their relationships with the State. She has conducted empirical, archival and participatory action research on a range of policing topics including: policing history, police anti-bias training and education, Aboriginal night patrols, Aboriginal justice agreements, police/community partnerships and youth diversion practices. She is a descendant of the Brinja clan of the Yuin nation, south coast New South Wales.

Intimate Partner Violence in LGBT+ Communities: An Exploration into the Types of Domestic Violence

Anne Marie Ionescu1
1Monash University, Clayton, VIC

This inquiry seeks to understand the types of domestic violence members of the LGBT+ community experience and how they differ for heterosexual persons. Additionally, it hopes to understand how the current support systems and treatment groups operate and to address any shortcomings and gaps that might be present. Finally, it aims to understand the impact of the recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Family Violence and provide additional literature on how best to target the implementation of said recommendations.


Anne Marie is a current honours student at Monash University and is the recipient of the Monash Family Violence bursary. She completed her undergraduate studies at Monash with a Bachelor of Arts and Science, specialising in Criminology, International Relations, and Psychology. As part of her course, she travelled to Italy and the USA to undertake criminology abroad and has completed an internship with the Police Prosecutions Office. Anne Marie has a keen interest in crime and regularly finds herself in discussions/debates with members of the public regarding the latest policy changes crime. She looks forward to helping prevent crime.

Family violence perpetrator interventions in Victoria – Something new?

Jessica Burley1
1Monash University, VIC

There is currently a national focus on the impact of family violence for Australian communities. Significant funding has been committed to improve responses to and the prevention of family violence. However evaluating programs designed to change the behaviour of perpetrators is complex. This presentation will focus on the innovative design of the recently established Men’s Family Violence Intervention Centre (MFVIC) by Bethany Community Services in Geelong (Victoria). The centre comprises a range of services such as case management, financial counselling, fathering programs, drug and alcohol counselling, housing responses and Men’s Behaviour Change Programs (MBCP) designed to target the key known risk factors of family violence perpetrators – all conveniently located under the one roof. Observations undertaken at MFVIC reveal what is unique about this model and what lessons have been learned in its initial stages of operation.

Continuous improvement is commonly referred to in government frameworks and policies focusing on family violence and perpetrator interventions. Out of the Australian government’s national plan to reduce violence against women and their children came the National Outcome Standards for Perpetrator Interventions. This called for evaluative processes to be incorporated into perpetrator interventions so that an evidence base can be built for ‘what works’. Therefore innovations can be promoted based on evidence. The MFVIC appears to be an Australian first making it crucial to conduct useful observations and evaluations of the innovative design in practice.


Jessica Burley is one of the Francine V McNiff scholarship recipients currently completing her PhD in Criminology at Monash University. She has previously completed her Masters in Criminology and Criminal Justice with first class honours at Griffith University and her Bachelor of Arts also from Monash University.

Nordic Noir – An exploration of cross-cultural discourse produced by foreign fictional crime television.

Haylie Parker1
1Flinders University

It is well evidenced that fictional crime drama has a discursive impact on audiences at both socio-political and individual levels, however most studies focus on the impact of television shows which represent the cultural environment within which they are intended to be shown. The few studies acknowledging cross-cultural televisual impact situate the fictional representation within its native environment and position the ‘other’ as the alien viewer within that environment. There is a need to study the discursive ideas proffered by cross-cultural crime television viewing in the ‘other’ environment.

This study explores cross-cultural engagement with the Scandinavian Crime Fiction phenomenon known as ‘Nordic Noir.’ Three series have been identified for analysis based on their popularity in the Anglo sphere and the existence of an English adaptation or influence for points of comparison. These are Brön/The Bridge; Forbrydelsen/The Killing, and Wallander (a Scandi-British collaboration). The foundation of Cultivation Theory as understood and operationalised by Gerbner (1976) is enhanced by a semiotic analysis of mis-en-scene providing critical analysis of cross-cultural ideas.

A work in progress, this study identifies three major themes. These are:
Criminology and Victimology – who is the victim and who is the criminal?
Police and the Police Procedural – Police Stereotypes, the Detective and the Case; and
Bordered Penality and Terrorism – Concepts of Nationality and Whiteness. This study aims to offer rich insights into how audiences’ civic values are potentially reinforced or challenged by cross-cultural texts.


After my initial degree in Behavioural Sciences, I found my passion in Criminology. I completed Criminology honors and am currently a PhD Candidate at Flinders University. My specialty is in fictional media, and the discursive effect that this has on perceptions of constructs of crime.

“Since he’s admitted to it, I’d have thought Nathan Broad can be arrested now”: Social media spectatorship and Image-based sexual abuse

Ella Broadbent1
1University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC

Image-based sexual abuse (or IBSA) is a form of technology-facilitated sexual violence which involves the release and distribution of non-consensual sexual imagery to a wider social media audience. The ways in which individuals spectate these crimes holds particular salience for criminologists as the severity of harm to the victim increases as these images circulate online. This thesis seeks to observe how social media users responded to a high-profile incident of IBSA – the image of a topless woman with a premiership medal around her neck circulated by Richmond player Nathan Broad in 2017.

Drawing upon theories of social media ecology, embodied harms and intermedia agenda-setting, I have sought to observe the responses to Nathan Broads naming in the media. Utilizing a convergent parallel research design, a social network analysis was produced which observed the structural features of social media interactions in the context of IBSA. Specifically, it was noted that institutional accounts were central to this network and played a significant role in mediating the flow of information between users.

Following this, an applied thematic analysis of tweets on the incident revealed a significant portion of Twitter users expressed frustration and dissent towards Broad and the penalty for his actions. This sentiment was then adopted by terrestrial news media reporting on these events, demonstrating a personal and institutional acknowledgement of the crime and its consequences. This investigative process is still ongoing, with further conclusions to be drawn on the role of social media use in disseminating and mediating sentiment towards IBSA.


Ella is a student at the University of Melbourne completing her honors year in Criminology. She has a particular interest in Technology-Facilitated sexual violence and is currently producing her first thesis on image-based sexual abuse and social media spectatorship.

Migrant Domestic Workers: Exploring Agency, Exploitation and Security in Singapore and Hong Kong

Shih Joo Tan1
1Monash University, School of Social Sciences, Melbourne, VIC

This thesis contributes to the growing body of critical criminological research on exploitation of migrant women in care work by examining migrant domestic workers’ experiences of exploitation, the ways in which workers perceive and access security, and how these experiences offer accounts of women’s agency. Despite the substantial body of literature detailing how migrant domestic workers are subject to a distinct set of vulnerabilities stemming from their employment in private homes as well as absence of basic protections and entitlements, little is known about how women in these isolated work environments understand, experience and manage work-related exploitation. Nor is there significant research examining how women in these workplaces access formal or informal support within restrictive employment and immigration systems that constrain their spatial mobility and options of redress. This study foregrounds the narratives of female migrant domestic workers through semi-structured interviews with workers in Hong Kong and Singapore. Further, to understand how workers negotiate the operations of regulatory and protection mechanisms, interviews were also conducted with key stakeholders. Exploring these two sites of Singapore and Hong Kong offers an opportunity to analyse the experiences of workers across two jurisdictions that share a similar reliance on migrant domestic workers but which have vastly distinct local contexts, both in terms of regulations and protections. An analysis of these interviews yields’ the workers’ explanations and accounts that add nuance to our understanding of their experiences of exploitation and the forms of practices they choose to engage in to negotiate and contest their exploitation.


Shih Joo is currently a second-year PhD candidate at Monash University, after having completed her BA (Hons) in Criminology from University of Melbourne. Part of Monash’s Migration and Inclusion Centre, her doctoral thesis examines the experiences of female migrant domestic workers in Singapore and Hong Kong. Specifically, her research focuses on workers’ experiences and perception of exploitation, the nexus of protection and regulation practices as well as workers’ agency and security, and how this interplay impacts on workers’ access to justice and protection.

A Gender Analysis of Child-to-Parent Abuse

Cristina Tambasco1
1University of Melbourne, Carlton, VIC

Family violence discourse primarily focuses on intimate partner violence, child abuse, and occasionally elder abuse. What fails to be considered is the existence or extent of child-to-parent abuse (CPA). Both males and females engage in CPA, although mothers are overwhelmingly the targets of abuse, and teenage sons are typically the perpetrator. Despite evidence indicating that CPA is gendered, limited analysis has been conducted in previous research. This research will explore the gendered dynamics and experiences of CPA, from the perspective of young people involved in AFV and their families, through a feminist, constructivist lens. In this paper I will present key gendered themes in the emerging literature and outline the qualitative fieldwork through which I propose to examine this issue. I will also briefly present preliminary findings of an evaluation of the pilot program RESTORE. This program provides family conferencing for cases of adolescent family violence through the Melbourne Children’s Court and in partnership with Jesuit Social Services.


Cristina is a first year PhD candidate in Criminology at the University of Melbourne. Her interests include children and young people involved in, or at risk of entering the criminal justice system, and issues of gender. Her current PhD project is examining the gendered nature of child-to-parent abuse.

Artifical bodies and unreal violence

Bree Anderson

Violence against artificial bodies is increasingly normalised in film texts and the sexual economy. It is tempting to dismiss representations of sex with robots as the product of fantasy, relegated to the realm of science fiction. However, the use of artificial bodies for sexual gratification has ‘jumped’ from screen to real life, prompting new ethical concerns for what it means to not only make but use artificial bodies. Using the lens of popular criminology, my honours thesis interrogates how the increasingly blurred distinctions between human and machine demand a reckoning of the ontology of the body. With reference to actor-network theory, post humanism and psychoanalysis, my research consults the depiction of artificial bodies in HBO’s Westworld and other documentary film texts. I propose that the sexual economy has produced a ‘hierarchy of harm’ that codes sexual encounters with companion dolls and sex robots as amoral and without consequence, producing enclaves for sexual transgression outside the scope of law. As an exercise in popular criminology, my research engages with fictional texts as ‘thought experiments’, in which future moral dilemmas can be explored outside of traditional criminological methods. These ‘future’ readings have enormous utility to the fields of development ethics and crime policy, functioning as ‘test-tube’ experiments for the crime problems of tomorrow. As our society embraces automated technologies, the scope of criminological inquiry must expand to accommodate the ethical and legal implications of human-robot interactions. My research contributes to this discussion by proposing a new vocabulary for engaging with the shifting legal principles of consent, harm and victimhood. Additionally, my research exposes the challenges that artificial agents pose to the criminalisation of aberrant sexual offending. After all, can a robot consent to sex? What are the ethical implications of ‘raping’ a robot? These questions warrant further scholarly inquiry so that our legal framework will be ready to address the needs of our increasingly automated technological society.


Family violence, systems abuse and Victoria’s intervention order system

Ellen Reeves1
1Monash University, Clayton, VIC

In 2016, the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence recognised the misidentification of women as primary aggressors in family violence incidents as a growing issue. The report highlighted that police sometimes apply for a family violence intervention order (FVIO) against a party who is actually the primary victim in the relationship. This victim, who now enters the system as a perpetrator, may face a series of negative consequences, which include homelessness; disadvantage in ongoing family law battles (i.e. custody and property battles); and a denial of access to appropriate victim services. It also becomes a missed opportunity to hold the genuine perpetrator accountable for their actions.

This presentation, based on the findings of interviews completed with eight Melbourne-based family violence lawyers, examines this issue and highlights the links between (mis)uses of the intervention order system and an emerging type of family violence – systems abuse. Systems abuse refers to the manipulation of the legal system by perpetrators of family violence, committed in order to harass, threaten and exert control over a partner (current or former). This presentation will contend that due to both systematic barriers and inconsistent awareness of family violence dynamics within the justice system, some female victims are not being granted the protection from abusers that the intervention order system promises them.


Ellen Reeves is a postgraduate student at Monash University, currently undergoing a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Criminology. Ellen’s area of focus is family violence in Australia. In her Honours year, she completed research on Victoria’s family violence intervention order system and the issue of systems abuse. For her postgraduate study, she is exploring the same themes within a multijurisdictional context.



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