The spatial concentration and stability of crime in a South African township

SOURCE: Security Journal
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
TITLE AUTHOR(S): G.D.Breetzke, I.Edelstein
DEPARTMENT: Impact Centre (IC), Impact Centre (PRESS), Impact Centre (CC)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 10569
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/12783

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The law of crime concentration at places motivates that a small number of locations are responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime. Research applying the law has largely been confined to the United States and Europe with much less known about spatial crime concentrations and their stability in less developed contexts, particularly in Africa. In this study, we explore the spatial concentration of crime in a setting axiomatically different from the West, namely Khayelitsha, a township on the outskirts of Cape Town in South Africa. Specifically, we describe rape, robbery and assault concentrations in Khayelitsha from 2008 to 2015 and examine the extent to which these concentrations change over time. Similar to international research, we found that crime in Khayelitsha spatially concentrates and that these concentrations are remarkably stable. Practical implications of these findings are discussed in the context of a historically unique post-apartheid South African spatial setting.