COMMUNITY POLICING AS A MECHANISM IN COMBATING HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN SOUTH AFRICA: GETTING THE PRIORITIES RIGHT
This article evaluates the current community-policing initiative in response to human trafficking in South Africa. Though community policing is evident in policing operations in the country, in recent times it has practically lost its face value and somehow has become unconvincing, particularly in response to human trafficking. Despite its global construction, human trafficking has been a resonating problem in South Africa. Its impacts have generated a myriad concerns, most of which revolve around the ineffectiveness of current policing tactics in combating its scourge. Profoundly, human trafficking often flourishes where there are gaps in social control especially due to asymmetric relationships between the police and the public in a dynamic milieu. This article is drawn from an analysis of a broader doctoral study on examining human trafficking and the response of the South African criminal justice system, and it utilises the mixed methods approach. Findings from this study suggest that for an effective or result-oriented approach, current community-based counter-trafficking strategies in South Africa need to be reviewed to embrace and reflect the true ideals of community policing initiatives.
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