CSIR and SAPS partnership to improve safety of South Africans

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The SA Police Service (SAPS) has enlisted the aid of the country’s foremost research and development organisation to up its performance in areas such as command, control and strategic and operational support.

A memorandum of agreement was due to have been signed today by CSIR chief executive Dr Sibusiso Sibisi and National Police commissioner, Riah Phiyega, to open the way for a portfolio of police oriented research and technology programmes over a three year period. The signing was postponed because Phiyega had to attend to “a serious matter” in Limpopo, CSIR spokesman Tendani Tsedu said.

He added the delay in signing would not see any delays with background work continuing.

The agreement is a formal step towards a longer term objective to create a Safety and Security Evaluation and Research Institute. It will undertake independent and ongoing scientific and operational research and evaluation tasks as well as provide SAPS with scientific decision support services.

With a string of events stretching back to last year’s death of Ficksburg protestor Andries Tatane, the Marikana tragedy as well as the recent deaths of protestors in North West putting police operations under scrutiny, the programmes are expected to improve police management in areas such as crowd and riot control among others.

The CSIR recently launched its Safety and Security Flagship to focus specifically on working to an improved sense of safety for the country and its citizens, Tsedu said.
“The agreement with SAPS is an important building block in both the development and implementation of this initiative. Co-operation with other players in national security sphere is developing,” he added.

In this regard CSIR brainpower has already been harnessed by the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) and SANParks Commanding Officer: Special Projects Major General (ret) Johan Jooste with particular emphasis on combating rhino poaching.