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Rights of the people are upheld. In terms of the Bill of Rights, every person has rights that should not be violated during policing. These rights include but are not limited to right to dignity, right to freedom and security, right to privacy and also rights for the detained, arrested and or accused persons. These rights guarantee the communities that the police will not while performing their policing duties, violate these basic human rights. Should the police transgress these rights, they will be held accountable.
Police accountability is when the police are held accountable for their actions. This can happen whereby a member of the public complains either to the Office of the Public Protector, that can investigate complaints against state departments or officials and suggest corrective measures where needed or to the Independent Police Investigative Department which is a body set up to investigate cases against the police service. Members of the community need not pay for services offered by these two offices.
Minimum force is also a very important issue when police deal with the public. The police need to use appropriate force in relation to the situation at hand. They cannot be heavy-hand when arresting a person accused of shoplifting or be heavy-handed to a person accused of a serious offence but who is handing himself/herself over to them. Section 49 of the Criminal Procedures Act deals with the force level police may use while making an arrest.
Police discretion is also an important element in policing because it can guide the police during the execution of their duties. When a police official uses his/her discretion during arrest, the community can then see that the police do adhere to human rights. The police official does not have to use maximum force to arrest a minor who is charged with shoplifting as this is not a serious offence, nor does s/he have to use maximum force when arresting a suspect charged with a serious offence but who is willing to surrender. The officer can restrain the suspect. Police officials have to know that the use of maximum force can result in death or injury of the accused and that they can and will be held liable for their action.
Individual freedom the Constitution of the Republic guarantees all citizens basic rights. These rights can however be limited in terms of Section 36 of the Constitution. Police officials have to know that when making an arrest, they should not transgress basic human rights of the person being arrested but at the same time know that an arrested individual loses certain rights once arrested, such as right to free movement. The arrested person still has a right to dignity though whiles being arrested
Use of minimum violence during policing duties is very important. The police should know that the use of force should be as a last resort and do so only when it is necessary. The police officials should only use force when their lives or those of the public are in immediate danger. It would not be appropriate to use maximum force when arresting a minor accused of shoplifting but on the other hand it would be necessary to use a certain level of force to restrain a person under the influence of alcohol to bring them under control.
Use of own discretion during policing duties is very important. Not all incidents reported warrant an arrest. If an officer sees a person drunk in public, the officer is not compelled to arrest such a person. The officer can ascertain the level of drunkenness and whether such a person is a danger to himself and the public. If not, the officer can escort that person to his/her place of residence or to a place of safety until that person sobers up. In this way the officer has used his/her own discretion to perform his/her duties.
Empowerment of the community is critical to the functions of the police. The community should always be involved and know what the police are doing to fight crime. The police and the community should have a level of partnership to fight crime and this can be done through police forums and neighbourhood watches where the community gets involved during crime combating exercises. When the community is empowered, it will also take initiative in keeping their areas crime free and also be willing to volunteer information that can be used to arrest and or combat crime.
ON/OFF DUTY PARADE
To see that all members are present for duty
To check memberâ€™s uniform, equipment, soberness, injuries and to take steps where necessary.
Discussing entries in the information book and certifying that the information was conveyed and discussed with members.
Posting of members to functional duties during the shift.
Make sure that the vehicle is roadworthy.
Report all damages.
Check the fuel level.
Make sure the vehicle is serviced.
FIREARM HANDING OUT
Make sure that the member is fit to handle and carry a firearm.
Make sure that the firearm is safe.
Physically inspect that the firearm, magazine and ammunition.
That the member receiving the firearm signs the appropriate column upon handing over in the register.
Ensure that the firearm is safe and clean before handing in.
Complete the returning page of SAPS457 accordingly.
Make sure all equipment is received as handed out.
Immediately place the firearm, magazine and ammunition in the safe.
Information is key to service delivery. People should always be informed about services that they should receive. If a complainant registers a case with the police, s/he should at all times be kept informed about the status of their case. The police official investigating the case must at all times update the complainant of any developments with regards to the case progression. If the complainant is not kept up to date, they will not know what happened to the case and then accuse the police of colluding with the accused person.
Courtesy citizens should be treated with dignity and consideration. When a member of the public enters the Client Service Centre, they have to be helped as soon as possible and be greeted with a friendly face. The members on duty should be neatly dressed and their working environment neat as well. The community should feel welcomed and be shown respect. When the member of the public leaves the CSC, they should leave satisfied that they query/complaint will be dealt with and that capable and competent officials have helped them.
Consultation with the community is also very important. The community should at all times be consulted about the initiatives that the police are taking in combating crime. The police should hold regular meetings with members of the community to inform them about the roles that the community can play in crime combating, in setting up community policing forums and to also give feedback about issues raised by the community. This police-community partnership is important because there will always be free flow of information between the two parties.
Access to police services should be equal amongst the citizens because we are all equal before the law. Race, Religion, Gender and or Creed should not be a determining factor to access police services. No member of the public should be turned away from a police station without being helped and having had access to services that that person is entitled to or to be told that there are no resources to perform police duties. A member of the public cannot be told that there are no vehicles to attend to his/her complaint while a police official on rest day has a marked police vehicle parked in his/her yard.
Principles of service orientated policing help in guiding, help in informing and in sustaining modern police activities. The following principles have help to distinguish numerous police agencies across the world.
Proactive approach refers to the measures that are put in place by the police to prevent crime from taking place. The proactive approach is when the police do not wait for a crime to take place and then react, they make themselves visible everywhere. They do this by increasing patrols and being all over. They do not give that would be criminal an opportunity to do crime. This manner of policing is preventative and can result in the reduction and eradication of certain types of crimes in an area during certain times.
Respect for diversity in the community is very important. The community is made up of a different people from different backgrounds. People of different cultures and languages interact to form a community. When the police go out and offer their services they should take this into cognisance and respect the diverse populace they interact with. The police should render their services objectively.
Joint problem-solving entails that the police should involve the community in crime combating initiatives. The police should also identify the needs of the community and continuously improve their service delivery. The community should always see am improved service when dealing with the police. These joint problem-solving techniques will result in the eradication of crime and in the community trusting the police and giving vital information to the police to help them fight and solve crimes.
Education and training of both the police officials and the community will result in a better understanding of crime fighting techniques. The police can educate and train the community in how to better protect themselves, how to be vigilant and also how to keep their neighbourhoods safe.
Conflict resolution is vital because it will show that the police service does not take side when dealing in crimes perpetrated by and or against certain groups in the community. This could refer to hate crimes and or race based crimes. The manner in which the police service solves these and other crimes will show that the police service is impartial in their work.
Service orientated policing is very important because the community is guaranteed that they will receive excellent service from the police service. The community will always commend the police for a job well done and the police will commend the community for sharing vital information that leads to arrests and conviction of criminals. There will always be harmony in the policing precinct, crimes will decrease and there will be a safer neighbourhood for all to live in.