Integrity tests planned for cop investigators

2012-02-25 16:31

Members of the newly-established Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) – the body which keeps cops in line – will have to undergo “integrity tests” to make sure they’re fit for the job.

The law governing the directorate, gazetted on February 12, gives executive director Francois Beukman the power to order his investigators to “test the integrity” of their colleagues by having their breath, urine and blood examined by a doctor.

The directorate, which replaces the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD), will insist that the investigators’ “integrity tests” take place within three months of them starting work. If investigators refuse to comply, they will have to provide reasons.

ICD investigators did not have to undergo these tests.

The directorate’s Moses Dlamini said the tests would ensure that IPID investigators were beyond reproach and of the highest calibre and integrity.

According to the gazetted law, an investigator who refuses to undergo tests risks being charged with disobeying a lawful order.

If an investigator fails a polygraph test, or the results indicate possible deception, security screening by the country’s intelligence services and disciplinary action will follow.

The directorate will provide for an investigator who fails an integrity test to undergo counselling, rehabilitation and retraining.

The IPID has promised to conduct the tests with “due regard to decency and the right of a member to dignity and privacy”.

In another move sure to attract public support, investigators will have to update complainants and victims at least once a month about progress in their cases.

The directorate is to be officially launched on April 1.

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