Criminological analysis on mechanisms used to control shoplifting in Durban Central Business District.
Singini, Olipa Josophine.
MetadataShow full item record
The act of taking consumer items from retail stores is deemed as punishable criminal offence. To date, there are high levels of consumer goods theft. Shoplifting can be dangerous in nature due to psychical alteration upon apprehension of the criminal, should they resist security. Physical alteration is not the only cause for concern, retail shrinkage and job loss due to bankruptcy can occur in cases of severe shoplifting. As a result, communities suffer the consequences of economic and social micro-levels. This study intended to identify the motivations behind shoplifting in Durban Central Business District by focusing on the victimization of the retail store and the store chosen prevention measures. This was a deliberate attempt to uncover whether retail stores and the communities are aware of such dangers. The Criminal Justice System and security department of the store are aware of such and have a number of preventative measures against shoplifting, in place. This study analysed shoplifting and the store prevention measures in Durban Central Business District. The main objective of the study was to analyse the impact of shoplifting within the Durban Central Business District. Whilst identifying the mechanisms that have been put into place to combat shoplifting in food and clothing retail stores, furthermore, assessing the effectiveness of these mechanisms within the retail stores are in curbing the high levels of shoplifting. Making sure to identify legislations used by the specific retail store in order to prevent shoplifting. In order to achieve this, a qualitative approach was used, in conjunction to convenient sampling and purpose sampling methods. Semi-structured Interviews where conducted on participants that were purposively selected. The data was then analysed thematically. Main findings of this study revealed that the issue of shoplifting in the DCBD was a geographical issue in accordance with the crime pattern theory, as well as gender based, were shops with female guards or female staff experienced higher levels of shoplifting than male staffed stores. Findings also highlighted that most crimes occurred when there were high volumes of traffic, the shops closer to the main network of people interaction. The Workshop Mall experienced more cases of shoplifting than the shops furthest away as it is not as crowed. The issue of shop theft is a great challenge to combat within the police and retail system, as a respondent confirmed that shoplifting is now a part of their everyday lives. The study revealed that shops have become accustomed to being victimized by offenders and have in place their own regulations and security measure. Other shops acknowledged the effectiveness of measures, whilst others denied any security measures in curbing shoplifting. Based on this study’s findings, the researcher recommends that SAPS needs to be visible in patrol areas around town to ensure that shoplifters are aware that a law enforcement official is on patrol. Police further ensure that they are highly responsive when a crime is reported. Retail businesses spend large sums of money on security measures to combat theft, therefore it is unfortunate when a criminal is released from police custody without any charges as shoplifters continue to steal. Also, organisations such as community safety, SAPS and retail stores should formulate programs that are aimed towards de-normalising the act of shoplifting in the Durban Central Business District and across other communities. Only the authority can safe guard a business by working together with it, which is one of the responsibility of a Criminal Justice System. A more severe punishment of five years from the judiciary system must be enforced, the reason stores keep being victimized is because a fine and a few months in jail is the only available punishment system in place. Furthermore, offenders tend to work in groups or a pair therefore constant inventory should be done in the retail stores the moment a crowd walks in, vigilance on the employees stuff and 3 months training programmes must be given.