Community participation in crime prevention: informal social control practices in Site B, Khayelitsha Township
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The role of informal social controls and their sanctions are still given little attention in crime prevention field. Some people still regard fighting and preventing crime as the work of the government and its agencies. This paper provides insight into the extent to which residents of Site B in Khayelitsha township take initiative to fight and prevent criminal activities in their area using informal social controls. Qualitative analysis was used to analyse the data collected from various categories of participants including ordinary residents, community police officers, community leaders and representatives of anti-crime organisations. Results indicate that the residents are reluctant to sanction offenders informally as a result of a high level of individualism among the residents. Some residents do not practise informal social controls because they fear to be arrested for sanctioning criminals and other offenders. This suggests that informal social controls conflict with formal sanctions rather than supporting and supplementing each other. However, individualism and lack of solidarity among residents of Site B were found to be the major cause of weak informal social controls.