The development of a pro forma document for use in police rape investigations in South Africa

Netto, Lauren Joy (2000) The development of a pro forma document for use in police rape investigations in South Africa. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.




This research developed a pro forma document for use in police rape investigations in South Africa. The immediate context for the research is the alarmingly high incidence of rape in South Africa. The rape statistics vary to an extent, largely due to the fact that a large proportion of the rapes that occur in South Africa are not reported to the police. These statistics expose the limited success of the South African Police Services (SAPS) in tenns of investigating rape cases in this country, as well as the public perception of the effectiveness ofthe South African Police Services in this regard as evidenced by the non or under-reporting of rape in South Africa. The pro forma document is an investigative tool designed to standardise and systematise rape investigations by providing set guidelines for obtaining the essential information about each rape case. This is a prerequisite for otTender profiling, which involves predicting the relationship between offence and offender variables. Profiling can only be successful if the investigator obtains all the information about a crime. Hence the pro forma document, as an investigative instrument designed to access essential information about a crime, is a key requirement for the development of informed and accurate profiles of offenders. As a standardised fonn, the document will allow for systematic and thorough rape investigations in South Africa. The researcher employed the qualitative methodology of action research. This entailed involving the participants in all stages of the research process-. The data was collected by means of focus group interviews with detectives from the Serious and Violent Crimes Unit and the Child Protection Unit in Grahamstown. Additional sources of data were various investigative documents that originated from a number of different countries. Analysis of the data followed a number of procedural steps specifically suggested for focus group interview research and involved a process of coding. The codes identified during the analysis provided the foundation for the items that were included in the pro forma document. In keeping with the action research approach, the participants were caned upon to evaluate the progress of the research after the initial data collection and analysis were completed, and a draft version of the pro forma document had been compiled. This feedback provided another source of data which contained suggestions for amendments to the pro forma document which the researcher implemented. The research process was hindered to a certain extent by the unpredictable nature of police work which influenced the data gathering procedure. This could point to a possible limitation of the research. Furthermore, the aim of the research was to develop a pro forma dodunent for use in rape investigations in South Africa. This aim did not encompass marketing the document. Herein lies another possible limitation of the research in that the document has not yet been usedand tested in real cases. A discussion of the research process includes issues involved in practically implementing the pro forma document in rape investigations.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Rape, Forms, Criminal investigation, South Africa
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Humanities > Psychology
ID Code:2463
Deposited By: Mrs Carol Perold
Deposited On:13 Feb 2012 07:55
Last Modified:13 Feb 2012 07:58
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