Barbara Holtmann


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Barbara Holtmann

  1. 1. Crime Prevention is essential to reduction of armed violence• No legislation however fine, can perform as well as it should in an environment where there is a very high rate of armed violence.• Armed violence also intensifies the burden of crime on the Criminal Justice System. (burden of investigation, minimum sentences, etc).• Where there is a high rate of crime and violence the CJS is considerably less capable of delivering confidence in justice or the rule of law• Poor performance threatens perception about the value of legislation in addressing the problem.• Citizens often don’t differentiate between the quality of the legislation, regulations, implementing agency and government as a whole.• The objectives of the legislation are not supported by gun owners; see it as punishing them , not convinced about/obstructive to the view that legislation protects the vulnerable Laws need to be linked to/measured against increased safety; pro-gun research is compelling to pro-gun lobby; only improved safety will change mindsets .
  2. 2. National Legislation and Policy• The National Crime Prevention Strategy of SA (1996) provided excellent theoretical insights into a multi-sectorial view of vulnerability, crime and violence• An attempt to understand the actual experience of unsafety in communities• Governments are resistant to systemic analysis and solutions, sectors must deliver against their objectives, heath to health, social services to welfare, education to education – if they don’t, who will?• Cluster system aimed to coordinate approaches• Lacked effective implementation framework and capacity• Transformation a time of constant uncertainty & change• We all underestimated the impact of crime and violence on communities and thus the perpetuation of violence• The strategy had no capacity for dynamic or organic change and flexibility• At the time of the FCA (2002) questions asked about capacity to implement; this has proved a stumbling block• Pro-gun lobbies well financed - and powerful in the face of the perceived failure of the state to deliver safety and security Lack of justice fuels anger, violence, self-protection
  3. 3. © CSIR
  4. 4. Crime prevention for reduction of armed violenceFirearms legislation is deeply politicized and divisive.Crime prevention interventions need to be localReduction of firearm violence needs to be integrated with prevention ofalcohol abuse, building of community cohesion, support for families(reduction of domestic violence), gun free schools, zones, etcThe difference must be felt and understood rather than perceived aspropagandaSecurity: protection against known or perceived risk or threat. This oftenresults in increased numbers of men with guns on streets, an escalationof armed violenceResponses to increased security result in increased aggressionSafety: the need for less security, the outcome of crime prevention interventions