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The overgrowing problem of violence in america and what is being done about it

Messenger The release of crime statistics in South Africa always triggers great angst among ordinary citizens, and obfuscation on the part of the South African authorities.

This year was no exception. In their latest release of crime statisticsthe South African Police Service seem to have tried to downplay crime rate increases and exaggerate crime rate decreasesby using the wrong population estimates.

  1. In less than one year, two children found and properly reported weapons, saying they knew what to do because of the program.
  2. Add these concerns to your list.
  3. This booklet explains some of the many ways you can help.
  4. The VIP Initiative is a violence prevention strategy that seeks to reduce street violence in city neighborhoods through increased mobilization of community-based organizations and neighborhood residents, increased coordination of city agencies, and increased knowledge of city resources in those neighborhoods.
  5. Ask your police department especially your community policing officer for help in identifying what to report, when, to whom, and how. These could include a large cohort of bored young people in the community, paths that are fertile ground for attacks because they are dark and overgrown, or unlit parks near a derelict building.

This is not the first time they have made this kind of bungle. But their motivation is clear.

  1. For example, particular factors might be contributing to a spike in robberies in a particular area.
  2. The child may be excited, nervous, or scared. Most robberies involve the use of a weapon, most frequently a gun.
  3. Author supplied A logical response might be that there is a need for more policing. Can we stop violence?
  4. Store keys out of reach of children, in locations away from weapons and ammunition.
  5. What services are there for kids facing problems?

Applying the correct population estimates suggests that the country saw the biggest per capita annual murder rate increase since 1994. But these were unfounded, as the murder rate has now risen to 36 per 100,000. The last time it was this high was in 2009.

  • It has one of the highest gini-co-efficients a measure of inequality in the world;
  • How groups can settle disagreements without using fists or weapons; and 3;
  • Work with your own children, with other kids you care about, and with teens and adults you care about to reduce the risk that you or someone you love will fall victim to violence.

The increase is cause for serious concern. Author supplied A logical response might be that there is a need for more policing. We have lost the UN norm of policing which says one policeman to 220 citizens.

Targeted approach

One police officer is now looking at almost double that. South Africa is a highly unequal society.

It has one of the highest gini-co-efficients a measure of inequality in the world. Research shows that inequality and crime go hand in hand. The question of police numbers Police leaders reported that their staff numbers have gone down by 10,000 since 2010. They argued that they had 62,000 fewer police than were needed.

Police agencies all over the world often claim that, to reduce crime, they need bigger budgets and more officers. But the evidence that these two things automatically lead to more effective crime prevention is far from clear. Take the issue of police numbers.

The question of police numbers

Short-term and extreme spikes in police numbers such as in response to terrorist threats do seem to reduce crime. But a review of a number of studies on the relationship between policing levels and crime rates suggested that the impact of more police is generally small. The paper also noted that part of the problem was that there have been few rigorous experiments on, for example, extra police resources being allocated randomly.

  • Emphasize the importance of being drug free;
  • Enlist those familiar with the costs of violence—parole and probation officers, judges, doctors, emergency room staffs, victims and survivors especially youth , local and state legislators and chief executives, youth workers, and others—in pushing for prevention strategies and educating the public about their effectiveness;
  • What programs help kids of various ages spend the critical 3;
  • Use Crimestoppers, a similar hotline system, or even 911 to encourage reporting of illegal weapons;
  • If it turns out to be a "false alarm," reassure the child that telling a grown-up was a smart thing to do;
  • Ensure that licensing laws are rigorously enforced.

Bigger budgets also have mixed outcomes. This is because, very often, a significant proportion of spending on police is ineffectual. With the right focus, resources could be directed to these areas.

Targeted approach What works best is a problem-solving approach. This involves focusing narrowly on understanding specific crime problems in specific places, and using not only police but drawing on the knowledge and resources of all parties, including other government departments and local communities.

For example, particular factors might be contributing to a spike in robberies in a particular area. These could include a large cohort of bored young people in the community, paths that are fertile ground for attacks because they are dark and overgrown, or unlit parks near a derelict building. The underlying problems would need to be addressed. This might include creating a partnership between property owners, the agencies in charge of parks and lighting administration, schools and parents, and the communities that use the spaces.

Making Children, Families, and Communities Safer from Violence

One concern with a targeted approach is that crime is simply pushed elsewhere. But evidence suggests that the displacement effect is usually limited and that, in fact, nearby areas often enjoy a diffusion of benefits.

  • Talk with children in the neighborhood about what worries or scares them and about where and how they have felt threatened by violence;
  • But evidence suggests that the displacement effect is usually limited and that, in fact, nearby areas often enjoy a diffusion of benefits;
  • Discourage name-calling and teasing;
  • Look for things like overgrown lots, abandoned vehicles or appliances, public play areas blocked form public view, intersections and streets that need lighting or traffic control improvements, unsafe equipment or structures, abandoned buildings, hazards in nearby businesses or commercial areas, and signs of vandalism, especially graffiti.

Research shows that inequality is arguably the single best predictor of whether a country will experience high or low levels of crime and violence. Inequality makes property crime more attractive and profitable; drives frustration, hostility and hopelessness; and, undermines trust, community engagement and the functioning of social and institutional structures.

South Africa is one of the most unequal countries in the world. Where to from here Murder levels nationally have been at about this level or higher above 30 per 100,000, which is considered very high by global standards since at least the 1970s.

High levels of violence are not a matter of police resources. They are a structural feature of this society. This is not to say that the police are blameless. Among other things they should be doing more to solve cases. But addressing the key drivers of crime and violence requires that South Africa builds a much larger social partnership. It has no hope of becoming a fundamentally less violent country until it becomes a more equal one.