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AVIS Fleet Services and CMLD!

AFSBackground1

By Henk de Jager

AVIS Fleet Services and the Centre for Management and Leadership Development (CMLD) at Southern Business School entered into a facilitation service level agreement in 2011 to present a Certificate in Management (majoring in Fleet Management) as a Learnership Programme to a group of 26 participants. This Learnership was funded by the BANK SETA as a niche Learnership on the Higher Education and Training level.

The 2011 group successfully completed the Certificate in Management and received their certificates during a prestigious Certificate Ceremony held in August 2012. In June 2012 an additional Learnership was awarded to Southern Business School and a further 25 participants are currently enrolled.

A special word of thanks must go to the Learning and Development Manager, Ms Pinkie Molatudi, from Avis Fleet Services. The initiative  and leadership shown by Ms Molatudi in coordinating the Learnership is greatly appreciated.

Avis Fleet Services is the leading brand in Leasing and Fleet Management Solutions in Southern Africa. The company, owned by Barloworld Limited, was established 30 years ago on the entrepreneurial belief that success requires courage, the vision to think big and patience to start small. Accredited with the South African Bureau of Standards’ ISO 9001 – 2000 quality assurance rating, the company’s focus is on delivering reliable cost effective products and services to large, medium and small fleet operators.

Congratulations to all the participants who successfully completed the first Learnership and all of the best to the current participants!

TAKING GOLD! 2ND YEAR IN A ROW!

Winner Business of the year

FNB ROCCi BUSINESS OF THE YEAR AWARDS – 2012

Southern Business School was for the 2nd year in a row, the proud recipient of the 2012 Business of the Year Gold Award in the Education category awarded by the Roodepoort Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ROCCi).

The glittering gala awards dinner took place on Saturday 27 October 2012 at the Silverstar Casino. MC for the evening was Harry Sideropoulos who kept the crowds entertained throughout the evening. All nominees were congratulated by the President of ROCCi, Mr Sakkie Stolz during his welcome address where after the guest speaker speaker, Anthea Nussey from FNB, delivered a fascinating talk on the role of Steve in the FNB advertising campaign and how this campaign had resulted in unprecedented growth for the bank.

Finally, the moment everybody was waiting for – the presentation of the awards. We held our breathe as the award winners names were called out – “The gold award for Business of the Year in the Education category goes to… Southern Business School.” We are both humbled and proud to be the recipient of this prestigious award for the second year in a row and also send hearty congratulations to the other award winners!

ETDP SETA brings Women Leadership Development Programme to SBS

WLDP

ONE YEAR LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME FOR WOMEN LEADERS IN HIGHER EDUCATION

      A one-year Leadership Development Programme for Women Leaders in Higher Education commenced in the brand new lecture rooms of Southern Business School on Saturday 9 June 2012. The programme is funded by the ETDP Seta and hosted by Southern Business School.

Delegates of the course will cover the following HEQF level 8 modules:

  • Leadership
  • Strategic Management
  • Project Management
  • International Management

Accreditation and Articulation
Participants who successfully complete all modules for the leadership Development Programme for Women Leaders will be issued with a competency certificate (60 credits on NQF level 8).

We have already received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback after just one session. This programme promises to be a very exciting one!

Perspectives on Policing Strategy By Chris Botha

Crime-in-the-news

Internal vs External controls in crime reduction:  Interpreting SOOTHILL & FRANCIS

by Chris Botha*

Introduction

During early December 2010, the Institute for Security Studies (the ISS) hosted a conference titled National and International Perspectives on Crime and Policing: Towards a coherent strategy for crime reduction in South Africa beyond 2010. The papers delivered at the Conference were published by the ISS and are available on http://www.issafrica.org.

One of these papers, by Soothill & Francis (Considering paradigms of crime reduction in different contexts) is the subject of this article, and the result of enquiries by students at Southern Business School as to an interpretation of the authors’ arguments.

The article aims to clarify these arguments for the South African student of crime prevention, leave space to students to add their own interpretation in the South African context (such as the emphasis on crime control and the neglect of social crime prevention) and augment students’ progress on the structuring and referencing of scientific report writing.

In essence, Soothill & Francis (2011:1) argue that crime reduction is dependent on our ability to develop a society in which all people feel that they have a stake and, thus, develop internal controls to resist crime. The development of more prisons and more intrusive policing, which are measures of external controls, is a sad reflection of our failure to develop these internal controls.

Aspects of Soothill & Francis’ research

The authors identify four paradigms for crime reduction. These are (Soothill & Francis, 2011:3):

*           Relating to parental child-rearing methods

*           Relating to structural factors relating to the family during adolescence

*           Relating to localities / neighbourhoods

*           Relating to individual resource benefits

They proceed to identify several risk factors of crime, which they then display in terms of its relationship to the paradigms. Although they do not define these paradigms clearly in the article, the description of each may be determined by interrogating the risk factors assigned to the paradigms individually. Their results (Soothill & Francis, 2011:4-5) may be presented as follows:

PARADIGMRISK FACTORS
Relating to parental child-rearing methodsSocial background:
Parental substance abuse, parental mental illness, domestic violence’ parental suicidal behaviour, child abuse or neglect.
Family background:
Child in care (“looked after children”), family separation.
Intergenerational transfer:
Mother teenager, mother convicted, father convicted.
Relating to structural factors relating to the family during adolescenceEducational qualifications of parents:
Mother has no vocational qualification, father has no vocational qualification.
Parental employment and poverty:
Parental unemployment more than 21 weeks, poverty (less than 40% of median income), parental disability pension.
Relating to localities / neighbourhoodsDisadvantaged area:
(Living in) a disadvantaged area, rented housing (not self-owner).
Relating to individual resource benefitsIndividual resources:
Unemployment more than 21 weeks, didn’t pass basic schooling level, not in process of training and education, not graduated, poverty (less than 50% of median level), psychiatric disorder, attempted suicide, drug addicted, alcohol abuse.

For comparative purposes, Soothill & Francis (2011:3) chose three types of crime, namely shoplifting, burglary and violent offences.  They chose these crimes because they are essentially open to all in the sense that they can be committed by anyone. Unlike, they say, “embezzlement (where employment is a prerequisite) or drink-driving (where access to a car is a prerequisite” (Soothill & Francis, 2011:3).  The authors then proceed to provide examples of crime reduction in these three types of crime if certain risk factors are eliminated.  These may be presented as follows (Soothill & Francis, 2011:6):

RISK FACTOR
SHOPLIFTINGBURGLARYVIOLENCE
Domestic violence8979148
Child in care14520266
Family separation380261381
Not graduated647831985
Total first convicted198913241901

To assist students in the interpretation of the table above (and seen from within the boundaries of their study) the authors argue that the elimination of domestic violence (the risk factor) would lead to 89 less shopliftings, 79 less burglaries and 148 less crimes of violence. The rest can now be interpreted in the same manner.

The falling crime rate

Central to their study, is the authors’ discourse on “…the crime rates in many countries appear to have fallen” (Soothill & Francis, 2011:6). They use the word “appear”, for they take cognisance of the possibility that people have lost faith in the criminal justice system and are simply not reporting crimes to the authorities.  However, after a dissection of crime rates over country boundaries (Soothill & Francis, 2011:6-7), they are satisfied that the decline may be accepted as reality.

But what can be offered as an explanation for the declining crime rate? Levitt (in Soothill & Francis, 2011:8) reported on the most frequently cited reasons for the decline in crime in major newspapers.  This may be presented as follows:

EXPLANATION FOR THE DECLINE IN CRIMENUMBER OF MENTIONS IN NEWSPAPERS
Innovative policing strategies52
Increased reliance on prisons47
Changes in crack / other drug markets33
Aging population32
Tougher gun control laws32
Strong economy28
Increased number of police26
All other explanations34

In fact, an analysis of the work done by Levitt, Conklin as well as Zimring (in Soothill & Francis, 2011) shows that an increase in prison population is on top of the list in all three studies.

“Supposed” success?

However, Soothill & Francis are coy about issues such as the increased prison population, and innovative policing strategies as real reasons for the falling crime rate.  They refer to Zimring’s “euphoric fallacy”: an urge to assume that the players in the criminal justice system are the cause of the lower crime rates simply because the criminal justice actors have more powerful vested interests “to see their efforts as a cause of the benefits of lower crime rates” and “the advocates of the supposed success of the police and prisons are difficult to resist” (Soothill & Francis, 2011:10).  Their main concern stems from their findings on risk factors (and the crime reduction capabilities of these risk factors): the fact is that none of the commentators talking to the reduction of crime rates have taken issues related to the risk factors into account in their explanations of crime reduction.  At best, this seems to be a gap advantaging the criminal justice system and disadvantaging other thinking on crime reduction.

Two traditions: internal and external controls to crime reduction

The thinking explained above, of course, refers to two different traditions: “one stems from an ameliorative tradition of trying to make things better for offenders and potential offenders, while the other stems from a more social protection / social defence tradition which considers what society must do to protect itself from harm and potential harm” (Soothill & Francis, 2011:10).

The former tradition is nothing else but the “internal controls”, and the latter the “external controls”, in crime reduction. They argue that aspects such as good parenting, good education and job opportunities (internal controls) still have a major role to play in crime reduction.  They also argue that more policing and more prisons (external controls) are not necessary the only answer.

The external controls–discourse is not about changing people, but about containing people by increased police activity or by removing people from society (Soothill & Francis, 2011: 12).  The consequences for an “external controls” approach may be devastating on communities: prisoners leave saddened parents, abandoned mates, and fatherless children (Von Drehle, in Soothill & Francis, 2011: 13). The social and economic costs, the authors say, are enormous. Many totalitarian countries seem to have low crime rates, but living in such countries may be a high price to pay (Soothill & Francis, 2011:13).

Democratic countries should rather hope to achieve “internal controls”: people must want to conform to society’s rules (which in South Africa, we refer to as “voluntary obedience to the law”). A central feature of the “wanting to conform” approach, is found in the three elements of social bonding.  These elements are (Soothill & Francis, 2011:13-14):

*attachment: a human being’s capacity to become affectively (lovingly, caringly) involved with another person and hence sensitive to the other person’s thoughts, feelings and expectations, particularly in regard to the other person’s relevance for his/her own behaviour;

*commitment: the rational element in the social bond. Most individuals do not persist in activity unless there is something in it for them. That something may be a life without been exposed to crime; and

* beliefs: the human capacity to evaluate and take a stand on moral and social issues.

The individual has a strong option to choose a life of crime if these elements fail to develop, or if they are broken. Incapacitation (prison sentences) may well produce results in terms of lower crime rates, simply because the potential offender is in prison.  However, incapacitation produces permanent outcasts who must be locked up for long periods. When we neglect to help persons in building their own stake in society, they will not develop internal controls with which they can resist the temptation to commit crime (Soothill & Francis, 2011:14).

Conclusion

While it may indeed be true that one may be able to achieve lower crime rates by massive investments in measures of external control (high incarceration rates, more policing) we must ask some questions: is this the way that one wants a society to develop?  Is it desirable?

*Cluster manager, Policing Studies, Southern Business School

Crime prevention in South Africa by Chris Botha

police-article

Best thinking as an alternative to best practice in crime prevention: An interpretation of BERG & SHEARING’S offering

by Chris Botha*

Introduction:

This is an interpretation of an article by Julie Berg and Clifford Shearing, titled The practice of crime prevention: Design principles for more effective security governance which was published in the SA Crime Quarterly (No 36, June 2011). The interpretation aims to assist South African crime prevention students in understanding the content of the article and to augment their learning on scientific report writing.

Setting the scene

Berg & Shearing (2011:23) argue that crime prevention is very much a second cousin within the South African criminal justice family, in spite the availability of policy frameworks such as the National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS) of 1996 and the White Paper on Safety and Security (1998).  They therefore proceed to review some of the principal obstacles to effective crime prevention and propose three design principles that should assist in establishing crime prevention as a central focus of South Africa’s security governance. In the process, they offer a broad definition of crime prevention (…it involves simply asking the question: How can we reduce the likelihood of this happening again? – Berg & Shearing, 2011:23).  They describe their proposed design principles as “best thinking”, rather than as “best practice”.

A central theme of the article: blaming and punishment

The authors aim to transfer the current practice of “blaming” to thinking about “prevention” (Berg & Shearing, 2011:25), and they do so in terms of crime, institutions and money.

They argue that we should be thinking of “harm”, rather than “crime” because the moment we talk of “crime” we can expect a blaming response: we consider the issue to be settled once someone has been blamed and punished for a crime.  Although blaming and punishment is a necessary part of finding a solution to the (crime/harm) problem, it is not the whole solution: those circumstances or issues that gave rise to the problem should be addressed in order to prevent the likelihood of this happening again (their definition above).  Therefore, if we insist to stop at the blaming-and-punishment part of finding a solution, crime prevention will of necessity stay the second cousin within the criminal justice family – and a poor and neglected second cousin at that (Berg & Shearing, 2011:24).

Since our institutions dealing with crime/harm (all those within the criminal justice system or family, such as the police, the courts and the corrective systems) work in terms of blaming and punishing, one cannot expect those institutions to deliver preventative solutions (Berg & Shearing, 2011:26). Their focus will of necessity be on finding the responsible person(s) and punishing them. The only crime prevention relationship would therefore be in terms of deterrence, but the root causes of crime or harm will fall by the wayside. Therefore, one should consider a “whole of society” approach: we should mobilise resources from both state and non-state actors and align these with context-specific solutions (Berg & Shearing, 2011: 26). In this sense, the reader will be able to link Burger’s (2007) view of the “impossible mandate” to the discourse.

To achieve the above, Berg & Shearing (2011:26) propose that the flow of money be changed. They argue that most, indeed almost all, of our tax monies allocated to security governance are spent on blaming and punishing (Berg & Shearing, 2011: 26). Money should rather be linked to how can we reduce the likelihood of this happening again? (Berg & Shearing, 2011:27). Currently, we give the money to the criminal justice institutions and they spend it in terms of blaming and punishing. Therefore, one of the reasons we have so little prevention, is simply because we do not give enough money towards prevention.

The central theme of the article as outlined above, should therefore be translated into design principles (Berg & Shearing, 2011:27).

Design principles

The authors argue that we are in a thinking rut in terms of the way we think about crime, the institutions we have designed to govern crime and the way we have spent our tax money (Berg & Shearing, 2011: 27). We should therefore start with our thinking: practice follows thinking, which means if we have “best thinking”, we could have “best practice”. The “best thinking” approach allows us to design “principles” which will affect “practice”. Identifying “best practices”, they say, usually entails drawing on the ways of doing things that have worked in one context, and then applying these “ways of doing things” to another context. The problem is that practices that have worked in one context will often not work in another (Berg & Shearing, 2011:27). Therefore, to implement prevention in a meaningful, context-specific way one needs to identify the ways of thinking, or principles, underlying the practices (Berg & Shearing, 2011:27).

Consequently, the authors discuss three design principles needed to effect meaningful crime prevention. These design principles are:

Design principle 1: Limit governing though crime to a minimum, and insist on governing harm

In essence, we should think more carefully about the harms we may face.  We should think on whether these harms should be thought of as crimes, or as risk to be managed in other, more preventative ways (Berg & Shearing, 2011:27). They illustrate this by referring to any well-run company that is focused on reducing its losses rather than on simply blaming and punishing (Berg & Shearing, 2011:27).

Design principle 2: Reshape the institutional environment within which harms are governed

Berg & Shearing (2011:28) make use of the Northern Ireland experience to illustrate their point in this principle: as soon as a Policing Board (as opposed to a Police Board) was established, the focus was shifted from the Police (as an organisation) to policing (as a function of society). This enabled non-blaming activities to also be supported.

Design principle 3: Change the flows of money so that it is channelled to institutions and activities that support crime prevention

The central argument in this design principle is, consequently, for governments to shift their focus from “institutional budgets” (that go to the established blaming institutions), to “functional budgets” that are explicitly designed to support preventative activities (Berg & Shearing, 2011:28). One may therefore be in a position to fund a wide range of initiatives, from a local community patrol to an early childhood development centre (Berg & Shearing, 2011:28). Partnership initiatives between statutory agencies (such as the police, education, etc), voluntary agencies and groups (such as non-governmental organisations and community based organisations) and the private sector may then be funded through a functional budget aimed at achieving the aims of specific crime prevention projects.

Conclusion: Towards reviewing the article

The article is a typical example of excellent abstract thinking. The authors have moved “outside the box” in preparing and submitting their argument. Such “best thinking” initiatives are to be welcomed in the South African crime prevention discourse. We have a well-designed policy framework (the NCPS and the White Paper referred to), yet we could do much better with crime reduction. The authors’ views may advance the discourse, and should be read.

Having said this, one must entertain the possibility that the governance structure in general may be uncomfortable with this view. This is simply because it is such a new way of thinking about crime prevention, and governance structures are not always open to somewhat radical views. Also, the money-is-power view may still persist in individual departments within the governance structure, which view may have an adverse effect on the article’s proposals.

The progress of the Western Cape Safety Partnership (Berg & Shearing, 2011: 26 & 28) should therefore be watched closely, since it will give us some indication of reaction by governance structures in “best thinking” initiatives.

 

*Manager of Policing Studies at Southern Business School