Foot patrols and crime prevention in Harare Central Business District: police officers’ perspectives

Abstract

Despite the advent of modern crime control methods, chiefly brought about by technological advancement, foot patrol has remained as one of the crucial crime prevention methods in both the developed and developing world. This study was aimed at describing the implementation of foot beat patrols in Harare Central Business District (CBD), Zimbabwe. The study also attempted to gauge perceptions from police officers on the effectiveness of foot beat patrols as a crime control strategy. The study revealed that hot spot patrols and high visibility are the most widely used patrol initiatives in Harare CBD. Foot patrols were widely viewed to be effective in reducing specific crimes/problems such as assault, loitering, touts, plain robbery and pick pocketing. It was also felt that reduction in specific crimes within the central business district also lowers the aggregate crime levels for the whole city. Reduction in fear of crime and provision of a reassuring presence were also considered to be the major benefits of foot patrols by community representatives.

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Correspondence to Ishmael Mugari.

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Mugari, I., Thabana, N. Foot patrols and crime prevention in Harare Central Business District: police officers’ perspectives. Crime Prev Community Saf 20, 113–124 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41300-017-0038-z

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Keywords

  • Foot patrol
  • Hot spots
  • Police visibility
  • Community policing