Police going back to basics

2016-01-27 06:00

THE South African Police Service (SAPS) will this year apply the “Back to Basics” approach to policing in a bid to ensure that all people in the country are safe.

Acting national police commissioner, Lt.Gen. Khomotso Phahlane, said police management had concluded a thorough analysis of the past and recent performance of the SAPS and were in agreement that urgent, focused action was required to turn the SAPS’s performance around to ensure that it was an organisation every South African could be proud of.

“The majority of the deficiencies and challenges identified relate to the tried and tested fundamental principles of policing, which have been neglected for a long period of time.

“This analysis has necessitated the introduction of a “Back-to Basics” approach to policing, which focuses on every police officer doing the basics of policing and on doing these basics properly and consistently,” Phahlane said at a media briefing in Pretoria alongside Police Minister Nathi Nhleko.

The briefing was aimed at outlining the programme of action for the police service for the year ahead.

Phahlane said the Back to Basics approach was centred on a few critical organisational concerns that would be rigorously addressed.

These include discipline and the manner in which police officers conduct themselves as a distinctive characteristic of policing; enhanced police visibility which implies more police officers in uniform, thereby minimi-sing opportunities to commit crime; and the targeted, informed deployment of operational resources to ensure the optimal utilisation of the limited resources that the police have at their disposal, ensuring that they are applied for maximum effect.

Phahlane explained that the recovery plans were not only focused on ensuring the improvement of performance and the achievement of annual targets, but were also driving the “Back to Basics” approach.

Regarding the incidences of police killings, Phahlane said an attack on a police officer was an attack on the democratic dispensation. “Such anarchy should be cut short and not allowed to spread so as to endanger citizens of this country,” he said.

The murder of police officers can be minimised by adherence to basic policing practices which talk to the operational readiness of police officers.

“The message to police officers is not ambiguous. When they are under attack in the course of executing their mandate, it is expected that they function within the parameters of the laws of the country.

“They will apply proportional force to make irrelevant the perception that the police are brutal,” he said. – SAnews

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