Expectations and Encounters: Comparing Perceptions of Police Services Among the Underprivileged in South Africa and Zimbabwe

  • Tariro Mutongwizo


Access to basic services is most challenging in underprivileged communities in the South. In many cases, services are either deficient or unavailable. The research uses household surveys from 2010 in under-resourced urban communities from South Africa and Zimbabwe to explore how police are perceived by 200 residents from each site. Findings highlight that while the police are expected to be responsible for the prevention and fighting of crime, participants either resorted to their own devices when confronted with security threats or only referred specific concerns to the police. The research contributes to the understanding of how police services in modern, urban Africa are imagined, perceived and encountered. It sheds light on the disjuncture between the expectations placed on the police and the reality of the service provided.


Africa Policing Security (Post)colonial histories 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tariro Mutongwizo
    • 1
  1. 1.Griffith Criminology InstituteGriffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia

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