SA Crime Quarterly - Volume 2011, Issue 36, 2011
Volumes & issues
Volume 2011, Issue 36, 2011
Author Chandre GouldSource: SA Crime Quarterly 2011 (2011)More Less
For a number of years we have watched as the SAPS has descended into serious trouble. Sometimes it's difficult to know whether the troubled state of the policing organisation is a figment of media exaggeration, or a reasonably true reflection. Over the past sixteen years the SAPS has undergone dramatic changes - it had to transform itself from the keeper of the apartheid state into a policing organisation that reflected the good intentions and stringent human rights requirements of the new democracy. In doing so it had to contend with deep internal divisions along race and gender lines, and at the same time provide a home for the police of the former Bantustans. When we should have been settling down to consolidate the organisation, deepen and improve training and address the shortcomings of crime scene management and crime detection, the organisation was the subject of a curious management experiment that involved the closing down of all specialist units and the redeployment of skilled police specialists to stations. While the argument in favour of this 're-structuring' was beguiling - to make sure that the skills of specialists were available at station level to deal with crime - as it happened, however, the outcome was in fact the dilution, or loss, of badly needed skills and the weakening of the administrative and internal oversight systems.
Author David BruceSource: SA Crime Quarterly 2011, pp 3 –12 (2011)More Less
Prominent incidents of the misuse of lethal force have contributed to the issue becoming a focus of concern in South Africa during 2011. Proper control of the use of lethal force needs to be prioritised by the South African Police Service and other police agencies in South Africa because of the serious consequences that can result from its use, but also because it is so important to police safety. The legal framework relating to the use of lethal force is the subject of a Bill which is due to come before Parliament. There are various options for amending the law but irrespective of which ones are chosen, the end result is likely to be unsatisfactory. Improvements in the control of the use of lethal force and how professionally it is used by SAPS members will ultimately depend on a reorientation of the SAPS in its approach to managing the use of lethal force by its members. A use of force policy, and a new system for reviewing use of force incidents could form part of such a reorientation, with potential benefits for police and civilian safety and for overall police effectiveness. These changes would require the support of police leadership in order to be implemented effectively.
Author Johan BurgerSource: SA Crime Quarterly 2011, pp 13 –22 (2011)More Less
Persistent incidents of brutality, criminal behaviour and abuse of authority by members of South Africa's police agencies have serious implications for public trust and confidence in the police. A decline in trust and confidence in the police is inevitably harmful to the ability of the government to reduce crime and improve public safety. Firm action is needed to stop the decline in policing standards, which is placing both police officers and civilians at unnecessary risk of injury and death. This article explores the underlying reasons for many of the problems confronting the SAPS and considers how they may be addressed.
Source: SA Crime Quarterly 2011, pp 23 –30 (2011)More Less
South Africa has had a comprehensive crime prevention policy agenda for some time in the form of the 1996 National Crime Prevention Strategy and the 1998 White Paper on Safety and Security. Despite this, prevention has remained very much a second cousin within the South African criminal justice family, notwithstanding the fact that there is widespread agreement that it warrants far more attention. In this article we briefly review some of the principal obstacles to effective crime prevention. Our understanding of 'crime prevention' is a broad one - it involves simply asking the question: How can we reduce the likelihood of this happening again? This question opens up a range of preventative possibilities. Whether they are of a socio-economic, environmental or law enforcement nature depends on the nature of the (crime) problem. On the basis of our analysis, we propose three design principles to be followed if we, South Africans are to establish crime prevention as a central focus of our security governance. These design principles articulate what might be thought of as 'best thinking' rather than 'best practice'.
Source: SA Crime Quarterly 2011, pp 31 –36 (2011)More Less
The identification of offenders who meet the criteria for psychopathy, antisocial personality disorder or dissocial personality disorder could be of significant value to help address the violent crime crisis in South Africa. A sample of 500 male maximum security offenders was selected to determine the prevalence of these disorders among South African offenders. Results for the incidence of psychopathy and dissocial personality disorder indicate a similar trend to that found in other countries; whereas the prevalence of antisocial personality disorder contradicts international findings.
On the record...
Interview with Francois Beukman, Executive Director of the Independent Complaints DirectorateAuthor Andrew FaullSource: SA Crime Quarterly 2011, pp 37 –41 (2011)More Less
The Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) is South Africa's primary independent agency responsible for investigating complaints against the police. It was established in 1997 under Chapter 10 of the South African Police Service Act. The Act makes the ICD's sole compulsory mandate the investigation of deaths in police custody or as a result of police action. However, the ICD has also been open to receipt of complaints of police involvement in criminal activity, and failure to comply with the Domestic Violence Act.
A new Bill, the Independent Police Investigations Directorate (IPID) Bill, is likely to be adopted in the third quarter of 2011. The new Act will significantly change the current functions of the ICD and will guide the transformation of the ICD into the Independent Police Investigations Directorate (IPID), providing it with its own legislation (independent of the SAPS Act). Under the new legislation the IPID will be mandated to investigate not only deaths in police custody or as a result of police action, but also complaints relating to the discharge of an official firearm by a police official; rape by a police official, rape of any person in police custody; complaints of torture or assault against a police official in the execution of his or her duties; and systemic corruption. The Bill also puts an onus on SAPS managers to report to the IPID on action taken against members following the submission of post-investigation IPID recommendations.