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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Behind closed gates: everyday policing in Durban, South Africa
Author:Cooper-Knock, Sarah Jane
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute (ISSN 0001-9720)
Geographic term:South Africa
private security services
External link:https://doi.org/10.1017/S0001972015000972
Abstract:Studies of everyday policing in predominantly white areas in South Africa often focus on the spectacle of secured architecture and private policing services, concluding that the growth of the private security industry has created atomized units of residence that are alienated from the state. Such conclusions are important but incomplete: they do not look sufficiently behind closed gates to explore how private security is justified, utilized, supplemented or avoided in daily life. In this article, the author explores the everyday policing of theft and robbery in a predominantly white policing sector in Durban. He demonstrates that people have not simply transferred their dependence or allegiance from public to private policing. Instead, their approach to everyday policing straddles these two spheres, perpetually disrupts any simple dichotomy between them, and illustrates how all forms of policing are entangled in the wider inequalities and insecurities of post-apartheid South Africa. In making this argument, he highlights how residents remain reliant on the bureaucratic authority of the state police, are distrustful of their employees who supposedly protect them, and appear far more willing to take matters into their own hands than many interviewees admit or imagine. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]