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About The Centre of Criminology

The Centre of Criminology is a niche research and teaching organisation within the Faculty of Law at the University of Cape Town, committed to advancing policy-relevant research and analysis on critical issues of public safety, criminal justice and evolving forms of and responses to crime.

Its research topics range from the local to the global. Recent years have seen detailed qualitative work conducted on illicit trafficking and organised crime in Africa and West Africa; poly-substance users and the illicit substance market in Cape Town; alternative forms of policing in South Africa, and extortion markets in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Other developing themes have included environmental risk and security; developments and challenges for policing, both public, private and community driven; organised crime and illicit trafficking in South Africa and Africa, including with a focus on the evolution of criminal networks in fragile states and their impact on governance, democracy, livelihoods and the environment; criminal justice policy challenges, with an emphasis on developing country contexts; and violent crime - with particular attention to its impact on youth and women.

The Centre has hosted high-level conferences on gangs, organized crime and wildlife trafficking, drawing international audiences, and through our associations with policymakers and practitioners at national level and in major multi-lateral institutions, our research and policy work is able to have an impact on national, regional and global debates.

Pivotal to the Centre’s mandate is the importance of addressing safety issues as a core challenge of holistic development. To do this successfully requires stretching the boundaries of criminology in ways that will enable it to recognise and respond to the changing international, regional and local landscape of risk.  The Centre of Criminology aims to push the boundaries of the discipline, and encourages its students to produce innovative responses to the challenges of public safety and human security.