Police white paper progresing

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A review process of the White Paper on Safety and Security is currently underway and will be placed before Parliament as part of the public comment process.

Addressing the National Association of Student Development (NASDEV) Practitioners Bi-Annual Conference in Boksburg yesterday, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said since the finalisation of the White Paper on Safety and Security in 1998 there had been changes in the policing environment that needed to be incorporated and reflected in the department’s policy and approaches.
“In due course, it will be placed before Parliament as part of the public comment process and we would urge NASDEV to make inputs,” said the minister.

The state BuaNews agency adds he said that as they review the policing functions, they also wanted to ensure that they apportion some of the functions, which were not in the previous White Paper on Safety and Security.
“If one looks at the current legislation, somehow police are expected to solve even matters that are beyond their control, for example, policing areas which have no street lights or road infrastructure. This would become a local government function.
“Part of the review process will take into account the issue of police station demarcations. The policy relating to the new demarcations is being reviewed, as part of the broader review of the White Paper on Safety,” said the minister.

Addressing delegates, the minister said one of the crucial aspects to effective policing was around training, whether one looked at specialised training, firearm handling, crowd control, forensics, and taking statements at police stations.
“Unless we address and pay attention to these kinds of trainings, we shall not achieve the kind of results we aim to … for us to swiftly and effectively fight crime, we need to ensure we have police officers who are well-trained on an on-going basis.”

He said the first step was a review of the current recruitment process. “We have changed the period from 12 months to 24 months incorporating both theoretical and practical aspects…the focus is centred on continuous improvement,” Mthethwa said.

He said they would continuously benchmark their training with international standards and other police departments worldwide, more so if “we are to deal a blow to international crime syndicates”.

Mthethwa, however, acknowledged that the focus should not be only on new recruits but also empower those that are within, hence the skills development and the retention of skills remains a priority for the ministry during 2012/2013 financial year and beyond.
“We believe we shall accomplish this through focused recruitment of personnel with emphasis on skills, instead of volume-based recruitment, we will also retain a sufficient pool of skilled competent personnel, specifically within identified scarce skills occupational categories. – BuaNews