Metropolitan Police Services in South Africa, 2002
Gareth Newham, Themba Masuku and Lulama Gomomo
Research report written for the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, November 2002.
Gareth Newham is a former Project Manager in the Criminal Justice Programme at the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation.
Themba Masuku and Lulama Gomomo are Researchers in the Criminal Justice Programme at the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation.
Thanks to Janine Rauch and David Bruce for editing and comments.
Since legislation was promulgated allowing local authorities to establish metropolitan police agencies, five of South Africa's metropolitan municipalities have done so.1 In no particular order these include Ethekwini (Durban), Cape Town, Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni (Greater East Rand) and Tshwane (Pretoria). While the Durban Metropolitan Police Service (DMPS) has been around the longest, since 2000, both the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Police Department (EMPS) and the Tshwane Metropolitan Police Department (TMPS) only became operational early in 2002.
This report aims to contribute to documenting the evolution of municipal policing in South Africa. Establishing fully operational police agencies is no easy task, and all municipal police agencies face steep learning curves in their initial years. It is therefore useful to document the development of this form of local policing in South Africa.
The three statutory functions of municipal police agencies are traffic policing, crime prevention and municipal by-law enforcement. Municipal police officers have legal powers of arrest, search and seizure within their area of jurisdiction (i.e. municipal boundaries). They also have powers to take fingerprints, administer breathalyzer tests and take blood samples. They can only exercise these powers in other municipalities where the pursuit of a suspect began in their own jurisdiction, and if they reasonably believe that such person had committed an offence. They can also exercise their powers outside of their municipal area if there is an agreement with another municipality. Since they do not have powers to investigate crimes, they are required to hand over criminal suspects to the South Africa Police Services for investigation and prosecution.
As most of the existing metropolitan police agencies are less than a year old, much of their current focus is on developing internal management structures, human resources and budgets. The first part of this report will provide some descriptive information about the five existing metropolitan police agencies. This will include inter alia data about each metropolitan area, the size and structure of each MPS, its budget and current strategic priorities. The information contained in this report is not comprehensive, but aims to provide a starting point from which to better understand South Africa's newest policing agencies.
The second part of this report will present and briefly assess the information used by the MPS's to describe and evaluate the work that they do. These agencies are facing substantial public expectations and increasing pressure from the Metropolitan Councils to prove their worth. However, measuring the performance or impact of any policing agency is notoriously difficult. Horton and Smith highlight the problems with developing appropriate performance indicators for the police:There are a number of obstacles to evaluation in policing. Policing consists of a wide range of heterogeneous tasks; the links between cause and effects in policing are poorly understood; many policing tasks have multiple aims and the final goals are too general to be of much use for the purpose of performance measurement. Additional practical difficulties include the problems of collecting information about the activities of officers on patrol, the dangers of reinforcing passing fashions and neglecting important aspects of policing when choosing which measures to use, and the potentially damaging effects of resistance to the use of measures by officers on the ground (1998:31).
In the second part of this report, the data that is used to explain the work of the MPSs in relation to their three core functions is presented. This section provides an insight as to how these agencies are currently assessing their work and what indicators they intend using to do so in the future. In the final section of this report, a number of tentative conclusions will be presented as to the challenges facing these agencies in assessing and communicating their performance.
The information presented in this report was obtained between July and October 2002. The primary methodology used was a questionnaire sent to the office of the Chief of Police in each of the Metropoles (see questions at annexure A). A liaison person was appointed by each of the Chiefs and information gathering was coordinated through this person. An advantage of this methodology was that it enable researcher to develop a sense of the efficiency of the MPS overall – their ability to provide accurate and timely information. To validate the data received, information was also gathered from other sources including reports, websites, media reports, legislation, and workshops. At least one interview was conducted with a representative of each of the MPS's, to obtain an overview of the development of the agency and obtain clarity on some of the information received in the questionnaire. However, interviews were not used as the primary research methodology for this report. Most of the data contained in this report was produced in document form by each of the MPS's.
While the authors of this report have endeavoured to ensure the accuracy of the information presented, the changing nature of the municipal police organisations in their early stages of development may mean that some of the data will quickly become out-dated. Centralised systems for collecting and processing data in most of the MPSs are in their infancy, and, in some instances, information was not available at all. Consequently, much of the performance measurement information we requested was not provided by the respondents or there were inconsistencies in the data we received.
Moreover, the information provided by the five services was not standardised and this report therefore does not attempt a comparative analysis. Monthly breakdowns of data were not provided by any of the cities, so time trends (e.g. increases in arrest rates, changes in traffic fines issued) could not be determined. (Despite this, most of the services have claimed decreases in traffic fatalities and crime rates since their establishment. The extent, to which specific MPS operations or activities have contributed to these changes, would require further research and analysis beyond the scope of this report).
Current Metropolitan Police Agencies in South Africa
The Durban Metropolitan Police Service (DMPS)
The Ethekwini Metropolitan area covers about 2 500 square kilometres, increased from about 1 600 square kilometres before the final demarcation of metropolitan municipal areas in 2000. The jurisdiction of the metro stretches from Pinetown and Hillcrest areas in the east, Amanzimtoti in the south, Verulum and Tongaat areas in the north, to Cato Ridge in the West of the Durban Central Business District (CBD). Durban is a thriving tourist, industrial and commercial city and is South Africa's busiest port. The population size within the metro area is in the region of 2.8 million people (Brettell, S and Mashiyane, 2000).
The Durban Metropolitan area is characterized by an unemployment rate of approximately 45%, which is consistent with the average unemployment rate of the entire province of KwaZulu Natal. Approximately 43% of the population in the city live in informal settlements or in traditional dwellings. Some parts of the metropolitan areas are not easily accessible by road, which creates particular problems for policing.
The Durban Metro Police Service was the first Metropolitan Police to be formed under the new enabling legislation. The history of the Durban Metropolitan Police Department can be traced as far back as 1854, when a city police agency was created under a Municipal Ordinance of that year. In 1885, the city police service was redesigned and the Durban Borough Police came under the control of the City Council of Durban, subject to section 20 of the Police Act of 1894. In 1935 Durban attained the status of a city, and the 'Durban Borough Police', was renamed the 'Durban City Police'.
In 1936, with the inclusion of Durban into the area of jurisdiction of the South African national police force, (South African Police, SAP), the Durban City Police were relegated to the functions of administering the city by-laws and traffic control. The Durban City/Metro Police was the only municipal police service in South Africa, until the creation of Johannesburg Metro Police Department in March 2001.
The main challenges facing the DMPS to date have been related to aligning itself to the new legislative environment and the new municipal boundaries. According to the Chief of DMPS, other challenges include:
- Providing the municipal policing service 24 hours a day
- Providing the service across the entire metropolitan jurisdiction, including previously disadvantaged communities;
- Increasing human and other resources to meet the policing challenges;
- Maintaining a high visibility in the Central Business District while meeting the growing expectation of the community for visible policing across the entire metro area.
- Ensuring that an effective administration and internal management system is functioning.
Budget of the DMPS
The Durban City Police Department Budget was R194 million per annum for the financial year 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2003. The budget is allocated for recruitment, salaries and training of new staff, maintenance and purchase of vehicles, equipment (firearms, ammunition etc) and operational expenses. According to its Executive Police Chief, Mr. Eugene Nzama, Durban Metro Police has 1 240 uniformed police officers, with a staffing shortfall (below ideal levels) of 52%. Although the vacant posts have been approved by the council, the current budget is inadequate for the DMPS to function as is ideally envisaged.
Police Capacity in Ethekwini
The DMPS is currently the largest metro police agency in the country and has a metro police officer to civilian ratio of approximately 1: 2 758. This can be compared to the SAPS member-to-civilian ratio of approximately 1: 503 for the province of KwaZulu Natal (Schönteich, 2000). The Durban metropolitan area is serviced by more than 45 South African Police Service (SAPS) stations,2 excluding mobile or satellite police stations. The DMPS has fewer stations, with satellite stations in the major areas such as Umlazi, Pinetown, KwaMashu etc.
Durban City Police Organisational Structure
The DMPS management structure comprises of the Executive Director who is also the Chief of Police. The management team comprises of all Regional Commanders, who are ranked as Senior Superintendents. The Metro Chief of Police is accountable to the municipal manager, who is in turn accountable to the mayor. The DMPS Head Office is located in the old City Police buildings along Old Fort road in the centre of Durban.
The DMPS provides a wide range of services including the following:
- Mounted horse patrol in the beachfront area;
- Closed circuit television in the beachfront and CBD;
- Plain clothes police officers beachfront and CBD;
- "Bobby on the Beat" uniformed foot patrol (Beachfront, CBD, Chatsworth, and Phoenix);
- Motorized police patrol rapid response;
- Police dog units;
- Street child unit affiliated to the KwaZulu Natal Street Children's Forum;
- Roadblocks carried out by the Special Patrol group using mobile charge offices, for both general crime prevention purposes and drunken driving prosecutions.
Arrangements for Accountability
There is no formal Internal Affairs Unit at the DMPS. There is neither a specific structure nor standardised procedure for receiving and acting on civilian complaints against DMPS officers. Generally, when members of the public lay complaints, they do it in person at the headquarters of the DMPS, or they phone or write a letter. Any complaints are supposed to be sent to the Chief of Police, who then assigns them to a particular manager to investigate.
If it is found that regulations have been breached or that misconduct has occurred, this information will be forwarded to the human resources department who are responsible for instigating the necessary disciplinary steps. If criminal charges are opened against members of the DMPS, these are investigated by detectives of the SAPS. Custody or shooting deaths in the DMPS are investigated by the Durban office of the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD).
In relation to political accountability, the DMPS reports to both the Metropolitan Councils Executive Committee and the Public Safety Committee. The DMPS does not necessarily report regularly to these committees, but will be called on to give information about specific issues or incidents as they emerge. As of yet, a Section 79 Civilian Oversight Committee has not been appointed to oversee the agency. The DMPS has been separated from the Emergency Services Division of the Durban Metro Council. The Chief of Police now carries the same responsibility, powers and role as the Executive Director of the Emergency Services Unit.
The Public Safety Plan of the DMPS identifies the following desired outcomes for 2002/2003:
- reduced levels of crime across the Unicity through both pro-active and re-active policing interventions
- improved emergency response times
- improved working relationship with the SAPS, through the establishment of a single police coordinating committee for the city
- improved road safety by reducing the number of road accidents, speed violations and red light violations
- reduction in the number of overloaded goods vehicles utilizing the roads of the city
- reduced traffic congestion and illegal trading throughout the city.
Cape Town City Police Service (CPS)
The Cape Town metropolitan area covers about 2 470 square kilometres. The City of Cape Town Metro Council is an amalgamation of the six previous municipalities, Blaauwberg Municipality, City of Cape Town, City of Tygerberg, Helderberg Municipality and the South Peninsula municipality. The population of the Cape Town metropolitan area is about 3,5 million people, with approximately 2,6 million people living in the central core. Currently, the metropolitan area is divided into two regions, the east with 51 % of the population, and the west with 49 % of the population.
Four strategic priorities were established to guide the City's spending in terms of the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and City Development Strategy (CDS) over the next five years. These strategic priorities are:
- The prevention of crime,
- The combating of HIV/AIDS,
- The promotion of economic development and tourism,
- The provision of free lifeline services (Water and Electricity) (City of Cape Town, 2002):
The Cape Town City Police Service (CPS) was launched in December 2001. The preliminary Cape Town City Police model proposed a force of about 3 000 officers structured according to seven ranks. The City Commissioner (Chief) is the head of the police department and is assisted by deputies, Zone/ Area Chiefs, and Precinct/ Station Chiefs. The Chief is accountable to the city manager, who is in turn accountable to the executive mayor of the city. Officers are deployed in eight zones/ areas that have been created across the metro. The key factor in demarcating the deployment zones was to ensure good co-operation with the South African Police Services (SAPS).
The city police started in December 2001 with 700 new recruits. Only about 8.3% of current city police officials belonged to the previous traffic departments. The traffic and city law enforcement staff were not automatically made part of the city police when it was first established. A long-term approach was initially envisaged, through which traffic officers could join the City Police if they applied and completed a refresher course. However, it has subsequently been decided that the amalgamation of the traffic departments into the City Police will be completed in three years.
Budget of the Cape Town City Police Service
The initial annual budget allocated to the city police for 2001/2002 was R84 million, of which 80 % was spent on salaries, recruitment and training. Budget cuts in 2002 had major implications for the training and recruitment of new officers. Instead of recruiting a further 350 new officers as initially envisaged for 2002, only 170 officers could be employed as a result of budget cuts (Cape Town City Police, 2002b).
Police Capacity in Cape Town
In December 2001, the first 340 new CPS recruits graduated from the Phillipi College. These were deployed in the city centre and along the Atlantic Seaboard to undergo specialised field training. In March 2002, 220 of these recruits were deployed in Manenberg, Gugulethu, Nyanga, Athlone, Mitchells Plain and a small part of Khayelitsha – the key crime areas in the city. By June 2002, Cape Town City Police had a total of 878 officers of which 45 are supervisors (Cape Town, 2002). At the time of writing, a further 160 new recruits were undergoing training at the Philippi College.
Former traffic officers were also recruited into the CPS, but had to undergo training in by-law enforcement and crime prevention as required by the legislation. So far, approximately 150 traffic officers have completed the course, but not all of them have been accommodated in the City Police, as the entire City of Cape Town administration is currently undergoing a restructuring process.
There is currently a metro police officer to civilian ratio of approximately 1: 2 961. The SAPS has a police to civilian ratio of 1: 409 in the Western Cape Province (Schönteich, 2000).
Cape Town City Police Organisational Structure
The city police uses a seven-tiered rank system. The City Police Chief is the most senior ranking official. The next rank is that of the deputy chief, followed by the divisional commanders, assistant divisional commanders, precinct commanders, sergeants and constables.
Cape Town City Police offers the following services:
- Ceremonial escorts
- Functional escorts
- VIP escorts
- "Bobby on the Beat" foot patrol
- Motorcycle and patrol car patrols
- Bicycle patrols
- Aerial patrol
- Unmarked patrols
- Camera and video unit patrols
- High visibility patrols
Arrangements for Accountability
The organisational structure of the city police makes provision for the position of an independent complaints manager who is also responsible for internal complaints. It is envisaged that the independent complaints manager will deal with the most serious transgressions committed by city police officers. To this end, the independent complaints manager will be expected to actively pursue a working relationship with the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD).
Generally, the city police rely on the existing disciplinary process used by the City Council, which follows the guidelines of the Labour Relations Act. This means that it is up to the commander to institute disciplinary action once police misconduct has been detected. Written complaints received from the public are investigated by the relevant line commander.
With regards to external oversight, the council's Safety Portfolio Committee is expected to play a key role. The city police submit quarterly reports to the council through the committee. However, protocols still have to be developed as to how regular and meaningful oversight can best be achieved by the committee without unnecessary political interference in operational decisions. A Civilian Oversight Committee (COC) as required by legislation was in the process of being established during the latter part of 2002.
The City Police are also represented on Community Policing Forums in the areas where they are deployed. They generally report on their policing activities and provide pertinent information as requested by the forum on specific crime problems and other relevant issues.
Key challenges facing Cape Town City Police during its first year of existence include (Sangster, 2002, p. 54):
- The integration/ transfer of existing staff into the new City Police Service, and filling of vacant posts in accordance with the organisational structure as set out in the organisational design;
- The establishment of good relationships with other law enforcement agencies
- The continuation of integrated metro-wide traffic operations;
- Continued liaison with the community (through CPFs)
- Continued participation in the Provincial 'Arrive Alive' campaign.
- Converting the existing traffic service into a full fledged police service to be also responsible for crime prevention;
- Dealing with budget constraints and the effect this has had on filling vacancies.
Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD)
The area of jurisdiction of the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department is about 1644 square kilometres, with a population of approximately 2.7 million people. It consists of 11 regional offices with its head office located in the CBD of the city. The decentralised approach aims to ensure that the metro police service is accessible to the majority of people living in the Johannesburg metropolitan jurisdiction.
The Johannesburg Metropolitan Police (JMPD) was launched in March 2001 and is therefore the second-oldest of the five metropolitan police departments. It was built largely from existing staff from the traffic departments, administration, by-law enforcement and security personnel. There has been very little recruitment of new staff into the department.
The budget in Johannesburg for 2002/3 is approximately R258 million for its "protection" component (which includes the JMPD as well as various other departments such as Emergency Services). This budget reflects a significant increase on the previous year, in part due to the costs related to the establishment of the JMPD. A further R315 million has been allocated for the 2002/2003 budget, to enable the Police Department to increase its capacity and resources. The Metro Police Department is the fifth most expensive function for the city government in terms of operating expenses, but one of the least expensive in terms of capital expenditure, which means that the main cost of the JMPD is its salaries.
Capacity in the JMPD
The Johannesburg Metro Department has a total of approximately 2 500 officers. This provides a metro police officer to civilian ratio of approximately 1: 1 080 compared to the SAPS civilian ratio of approximately 1: 320 in the Gauteng Province (Schönteich, 2000). Over the next two to three years it is envisaged that the personnel will be expanded to about 4000 members.
JMPS Organizational Structure and Services
The JMPS is divided into seven departments as shown in the organogram below.
The Operations division is divided into eleven regional commands with the following capabilities: urban control (illegal occupation of land and buildings), illegal dumping, by-law enforcement, warrants enforcement, speed (freeways and surface), CCTV (inner-city only), Freeway Patrol, Recovery, Accident Investigations, Special patrol, Overloads, Equestrian Unit, Canine Unit (Bomb and narcotics detection unit), Forensic Investigations (Departmental shooting incidents), Crime Prevention (Plain clothes unit) and Precinct Patrols.
Johannesburg Metro Police Department offer a further number of services which include:
- Marked and unmarked patrols and traffic policing
- "Bobby the Beat" foot patrol officers who enforce metro by-laws
- Crowd control
- K9-related investigations
- Social Crime Prevention
- Air wing Unit
- Bicycle patrol
Arrangements for Accountability
An Internal Affairs Unit was established within the JMPD to investigate allegations of corruption, misconduct, civil claims that are lodged against the department and vehicle collisions involving by JMPD members. This unit also gathers information and trends on allegations against JMPD officers, coordinates disciplinary process, presents cases during departmental hearings, ensures that recommendations of the disciplinary hearing are implemented, and liaises with the SAPS and the ICD where necessary. Moreover, the unit provides legal services to the JMPD to defend civil claims against it.
Some of the figures from the unit suggest that misconduct and corruption present one of the main challenges to the JMPS. Between January and June of 2002, 336 complaints against police officers were logged by the call centre. While not all of these can be substantiated, the data shows that from July to September 2002, 185 cases were referred to the Internal Affairs unit. The single biggest category of complaint dealt with by the unit was that of 'conduct unbecoming', in which 85 cases were received. The second largest number of complaints received were corruption-related (including bribery, fraud, misappropriation and theft) consisting of 48 cases. These types of problems accounted for 72% of all cases handled by the unit in the first half of 2002.
In relation to external accountability structures, the JMPD reports to both a Council Public Safety Portfolio Committee and a Civilian Oversight Committee. Typically, the reporting structures are in line with those set out in legislation regarding the municipality. The JMPD differs from the other MPSs in that its Civilian Oversight Committee has been in existence for over a year. The committee consists of about 25 people who are broadly representative of various interest groups in Johannesburg - participants are drawn from Business Associations, Business Against Crime, Community Police Forums, and the SAPS.
Key Challenges for Johannesburg
Some of the key challenges that the JMPD has had to confront include:
- Ensuring that the former traffic officers (who make up the bulk of staff) can operate in accordance with the new statutory functions of the agency.
- Consolidation of JMPD command structures, which entails having regional commands headed by Superintendents as opposed to Deputy Directors as initially planned;
- Establishment of an analytical capability for the JMPD so that it can compute all data collected as a result of its activities;
- Establishment of a special patrols unit with a specific brief for crime prevention.
Tshwane Metropolitan Police Department (TMPD)
The jurisdiction for Tshwane metropolitan area is approximately 2 292 square kilometres including some peri-urban and rural areas. The population within the metro area is approximately 1.7 million people. Of the 431 208 households that make up the population, a vast majority of them (78%) live in formal housing, almost one in five (19%) live in informal settlements, and the remainder live in traditional homesteads (3%). Roughly 76% of the metro's population are employed while the remaining 24% are unemployed (data from http://www.census.co.za).
Before the establishment of the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality towards the end of 2000, the Greater Pretoria Metropolitan Council (GPMC) commissioned consultants to investigate the feasibility of establishing a metro police service in the country's capital. The city officials viewed the establishment of the MPS as important for the future prosperity of the city for two reasons
- To deal with rising crime levels which have been partly attributed to the displacement of serious and violent crime levels from Johannesburg to Pretoria; and
- The possibility that Parliament will relocate to Pretoria.
The Tshwane Metropolitan Police Department was formally launched on the 23 February 2002 and incorporated the traffic and security departments of 13 councils that previously made up what was known as Greater Pretoria.
Tshwane Metropolitan Police Department Budget
The Tshwane Metro's total Public Safety budget for 2002/3 was approximately R287 million for all its divisions, including operational policing, the licensing department, municipal courts, administration and security guards. Approximately 63% of this budget goes towards salaries. About R40 million of that budget has been dedicated to metro policing. The total budget for 2003/4 has been projected to be around R402 million, to ensure that targets proposed in the initial TMPD Business Plan can be met by 2004.
Police Capacity in Tshwane
Tshwane Metro Police Department has a total staff complement of approximately 1 400 people, of whom 560 are operationally active as police officers. The remaining staff members are court officials, licensing department officials, administrative staff and security guards. Most of the TMPS staff were drawn from the previous traffic departments and municipal security structures. This provides a metro operational police officer to civilian ratio of approximately 1: 3 035, which can be compared to the SAPS to civilian ratio of approximately 1: 320 for the Gauteng Province (Schönteich, 2000).
Already, 200 new officers have been recruited and will have completed their training by 13 December 2002. This will increase the number of operational police officers to almost 800. Nevertheless, this is still 200 officers less than was anticipated in the five-year staffing strategy of the TMPD, which was hoping to see an operation complement of 3000 by 2007. Budget constraints are the main reason behind the staffing shortfall for 2002.
TMPD Organizational Structure and Services
The TMPD is located within the Executive Directorship of Community Services and is headed by the City Chief of Police who is accountable to the Director of Community Services.
The above macro-organogram reflects how the TMPS is broadly structured. The Division Pro-Active Policing comprises the following operational sections:
- By-Law Enforcement;
- Crime Prevention;
- Road Policing;
- Regional Policing.
The Division Re-Active Policing is divided up into the following sections:
- Protection Services and VIP Protection Unit;
- Research and Development
- Investigation Bureau.
The Division Police Administration is comprised of:
- Licensing Services;
- the Administrative Bureau;
- Support Services;
- the Police Academy;
- Communication Services;
- Legal Support.
Other services provided by the TMPS include:
- Dog unit patrol
- Motor cycle patrols
- Horse patrols
- Bicycle patrols
- Unmarked and marked vehicle patrols
- Explosives and narcotics unit
- "Bobby on the Beat", foot patrols
Arrangements for Accountability
A complaints desk has been established for receiving complaints from various sources including, members of the public who may phone, write letters or visit the desk. Complaints are also received from TMPD staff and are noted from media reports. Once a complaint is made, an official file is opened. The file is referred to an investigating officer in the internal affairs unit who will investigate the merit of the complaint and prepare a report. This will be submitted to Legal Support Services who will then decide on the disciplinary steps to take against the official. The Internal Affairs Unit is also responsible for conducting random inspections to ensure that standing procedures and policies are adhered to.
The TMPD has also established its Civilian Oversight Committee. This committee is quite unique in that it is relatively small, only consisting of six participants. These include two councillors (the chair of the Public Safety Committee and one other), one expert in policing and crime matters (in this case a criminologist from UNISA), a representative from the CPF Area Board, one financial expert, and a representative from the Mayoral Advisory Committee on Safety matters. This model of committee has been chosen as it is expected to be more able to provide informed recommendations - given its expertise and small size.
Key Challenges facing the TMPS
One of the notable achievements of the Tshwane MPS has been the development of the Tshwane Crime Prevention Strategy (TCPS) and the TCPS Implementation Plan. Indeed, the TMPD have made impressive progress towards achieving the kind of integrated approach to crime prevention proposed in the 1996 National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS). The Tshwane Crime Prevention Forum (TCPF) has been established, with participation from businesses, City Council departments, NGO's, security structures, Community Police Forums and the SAPS. In particular, priority has been placed on ensuring that the TMPD delivers a new style of policing that promotes a South African national identity. Towards this end, a number of initiatives have been undertaken to ensure that officials understand and respect cultural diversity.
The Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Police Service (EMPS)
The Ekurhuleni Metro Council lies to the East of Johannesburg and incorporates the former municipalities of Alberton, Benoni, Boksburg, Brakpan, Edenvale, Germinston, Kempton Park, Nigel and Springs. The total area of the metro is 8200 square kilometres, and the population size is estimated at 535 380 households. Approximately 70% of households live in the formal housing in the townships or suburbs, while 29.5 % are living in informal settlements and 0.5% in traditional homesteads. About 68% of the population are employed, while 32% are unemployed. The Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Police Service was formally launched in February 2002.
Budget of EMPS
The initial budget of R246 989 033 was allocated at the formation of the Ekurhuleni Metro Police Service to cover the period up to mid-2002. A total of R176 568 896, about 71% of that budget, was spent on salaries, recruitment, training and acquisition of essential resources.
Police Capacity in Ekurhuleni
The EMPS has a total personnel component of 601 employees, of which 568 are operational police officers and 33 members provide administrative support. This gives an EMPS officer to civilian ratio of 1: 3 568, compared to the Gauteng provincial SAPS officer to civilian ratio of 1: 320. All of the personnel making up the EMPS at its formation belonged to previous traffic departments. However, 150 new personnel have been recruited and at the time of writing were undergoing training.
EMPS Organisational Structure and Services
At the time of writing the organizational structure of the metro police service was in the process of being finalised. The following was submitted to its council as a draft for discussion purposes.
The Chief of Police in the EMPS is accountable to the Executive Head of Department (Operations), also referred as Executive Director (Public Safety). The Executive Director is in turn accountable to the municipal manager who is accountable to the Executive Mayor.
Ekurhuleni is divided into three regions and has 3 levels of authority as shown in the diagram above. The chief of police and the deputy chief are located at the Metro-wide level and perform executive functions, while the Directors operate in the regions. Directors report to the deputy chief of police, who in turn reports to the chief of police. Metro police officers are located at station level and are accountable to regional directors.
EMPS provides a number of services including,
- Patrol vehicles
- Motorcycle patrol
- Foot patrol
- Rapid response unit
- Emergency services
- Traffic control
- Social Crime Prevention Unit
Arrangements for Accountability
The department has established an Integrity and Standards Unit (ISU) which is responsible for registering and monitoring complaints and convictions against any of the departments' officials. The unit will also be responsible for investigating allegations against EMPS officials and making recommendations to the Chief of Police. At the time of writing, this unit had about 12 members and was located in Bedfordview at the office of the Chief of Police.
In relation to external accountability, the EMPS reports to the Executive Director for Public Safety and to the Public Safety Committee. At the Committee, policing issues are raised on an ad-hoc basis, and do not follow a preset agenda. A Civilian Oversight Committee has yet to be established; however local councillors have received a day-long workshop on the issue of police accountability and have worked through options for establishing such a committee.
Key Challenges facing the EMPS
The following issues were outlined as key challenges facing the EMPS (India, 2002):
- Clarifying the role and mandate of the MPS particularly as it relates to crime prevention and coordination with the SAPS;
- Balancing enforcement and crime prevention activities
- Determining the extent to which MPS officers will act as peace officers and enforce by-laws and legislation;
- Transforming the organisational culture from specialist enforcement (such as traffic enforcement) to more general community policing approaches;
- Financing the MPS;
- Defining the conditions of service of municipal police officers;
- The harmonization and integration of by-laws;
- Effective enforcement of by-laws;
- Meeting public expectations;
- Maintaining standards.
Assessing Metro Policing thus far
One of the reasons that assessment of the metro police is difficult is because of a lack of information about the impact that they have. In contemporary South Africa, the popular understanding of police work is that they combat and prevent crime. Given high levels of fear and public concern about crime, the establishment of the MPS's was generally touted by politicians as a 'solution' to crime in the metropolitan areas. However, the new metro police have two other statutory functions in which they have to perform: traffic control and by-law enforcement. A key challenge in the first phase of the development of the metro police agencies has been to ensure that they undertake policing across all three functions. This section will tentatively examine how the MPSs are tackling and measuring their performance in each of these statutorily-determined functions.
What do the Metro Police do?
One of the questions asked of the MPSs in the course of this research was to roughly estimate what percentage of their resources and activities were focused on each of their three primary functions. Three of the MPSs (Durban, Cape Town and Ekurhukeni) provided specific estimates to this effect. Estimates for Tswhane and Johannesburg were determined from data reflecting detailed work outputs in each of the functions.
Table 1: DMPS, Estimates of resources and activities per function
DURBAN Crime Prevention Traffic Control By-Law Enforcement CBD Urban 50% 40% 10% Townships 80% 10% 10% Peri-Urban 60% 35% 5% Average 63% 28% 9%
The table shows that DMPS claim to spend 63% of their time on crime prevention, while 28% is spent on traffic control and 9% on by-law enforcement.
Table 2: CTCPS, Estimates of resources and activities per function
Crime Prevention Traffic Control By-law Enforcement 30% 60% 10%
In contrast to the Durban Metro Police, the Cape Town City Police indicated that they spend a majority of their time (approximately 60%) focused on traffic control, with 30% on crime prevention and a small proportion (10%) of time on by-law enforcement.
Table 3: EMPS, Estimates of resources and activities per function
Crime Prevention Traffic Control By-law Enforcement 60% 25% 15%
Ekurhuleni provided similar estimates to those given by Durban, with about 60% of their time spent on crime prevention, while 25% is spent on traffic control and 15% on by-law enforcement.
Table 4: TMPD, Estimates of resources and activity per function
Crime Prevention Traffic Control By-Law Enforcement 23% 43% 2%
The Tshwane MPD Monthly Activity Report for June 2002 (a sample month of data provided to the researchers) reveals that during that month, TMPD activities were primarily focused on traffic enforcement. A total of 20 786 hours were worked for the month of June, with roughly 43% of those hours related to traffic enforcement, 23% related to crime prevention (and responding to complaints) and 2% related to by-law enforcement activities. The remaining hours were spent on activities such as administration, court duties, training, vehicle inspections etc. However of the 5 881 overtime hours worked, 43% were spent on crime prevention and responding to complaints.
Table 5: JMPD, Estimates of resources and activity per function
Crime Prevention Traffic Control By-law Enforcement 6% 77% 17%
JMPD did not provide an estimated breakdown of their activities, but supplied data on actual activities and other indicators such as calls logged at their Call Centre. Of total calls made by the public to Johannesburg MPS call centre, 77% were traffic related. Only around 6% of the total calls logged between January and June 2002 related to crime. Similarly, 90% of the more than 12 000 arrests made by JMPS officers in their first year of operation were related to outstanding traffic fines.
There are substantial differences in the nature of the information forwarded by the different MPSs. The information yielded by Tshwane is the most informative as to the actual activities of their officers. Their monthly reports present the number of hours worked on different tasks, plus the total number of cases handled. The Tshwane figures show that 32% of the hours worked are not directly spent on the three statutory functions but on "other" work. This data most accurately reflects 'what police do' and refers to activities such as administrative duties and attending court.
One study of US detectives revealed that 45% of their regular working time was spent on activities that had nothing to do with solving their cases (Chaiken, et al; 1991). Research on police patrols in the USA also revealed that officers rarely spend more than 25% of their working time on crime related activities, which was better than the amount spent 10 to 20 years previously, before the public's fear of crime began to escalate (Greene and Klockars, 1991).
This highlights one of the challenges to police agencies wanting to improve performance and thereby the impact of their work, that is, establishing systems for gathering meaningful data on police activities. Police work can include a large number of different activities and not everything that police officers do can be recorded without systems becoming overly burdensome. It is therefore necessary to collect information on particular aspects of police work. While certain police activities may be easy to measure (e.g. number of arrests), these activities do not necessarily have any impact on crime. It may be that a reduction in crime would be more influenced by increasing the number of positive exchanges between police officials and civilians - leading to greater respect and trust in the police and therefore more cooperation against crime - than by merely increasing the numbers of people arrested. Sherman (1998) presents strong evidence that public disrespect for police can contribute to the crime rate, while suggesting that untargeted and reactive arrests have no impact on crime rates whatsoever.
The second issue that becomes apparent from this data is that the nature of police work is not static but can change according to any number of variables. This is most notable in the information given by the Durban Metro Police, in which they reveal that the amount of time spent on in each of their key functions differs in accordance to the geographical location in which they are operating. Thus, whereas metro police in the Durban CBD will spend half their time on crime prevention, in the townships the metro police are involved in crime prevention activities roughly 80% of the time. It is therefore important to recognise that different locations and environments may require different types of policing. Too often statistics do not capture these differences, making it very difficult to measure the impact of policing activities on crime rates in different locations.
One of the biggest challenges facing the MPSs is to develop an effective approach to crime prevention. All of the MPSs except Cape Town are predominantly made up of former traffic officers, who have little experience or training in crime-related work.
Given that the MPS's are legally responsible for prevention, it is natural that their effectiveness will be measured against whether or not the crime rate in the Metro's is increasing or decreasing. Indeed, all the MPSs have a stated objective of reducing crime, some even providing a numerical target and a date as to when this can be expected. All rely on SAPS crime statistics as a way of monitoring their performance, as this is the only measure of crime trends currently available in South African cities.
Typically, the most prominent activities used by the metro police agencies to achieve the objectives of preventing and reducing crime include:
- Increasing police visibility through random or targeted patrols;
- Improving the response time to calls for help comes;
- Crackdown operations (stop, search and seizure, especially roadblocks);
- Increasing numbers of arrests.
At least two MPSs have established specialised units to focus on carrying out such activities, possibly as a response to the challenge of getting former traffic officers to engage with new crime-related policing activities.
Some of the MPSs are conducting activities which they label 'social crime prevention'. These tend to be educational activities in which MPS officials are trying to prevent victimisation and promote compliance with the law through education and information dissemination. Examples of some of the key objectives, activities and indicators currently being used by the MPSs in relation to crime prevention are summarised below.
Durban Metro Police
During 2001, the DMPS attended to a total of 76 883 incidents and made about 40 024 arrests for common-law and statutory offences. The Durban police use changes in crime levels and emergency response times as the key indicators of the impact of its operations.
Cape Town City Police
During the first half of 2002, Cape Town City police officials made 807 arrests (mostly drug and alcohol related) and held 15 separate roadblocks. Crime prevention activities were particularly focused in certain urban renewal (high-crime) areas in the metro. Between July 2002 and June 2003 performance is to be measured by a reduction in crimes reported (particularly alcohol related crimes) and the numbers of illegal shebeens that are located. A key performance objective has boldly been proclaimed as a reduction in crime in the Cape Town metropolitan area by 10% over the next four years.
Johannesburg Metro Police
Over 12 000 arrests were made between April and December 2001 by the JMPD. By comparison, the figures provided revealed that only 449 arrests were recorded by the call centre between January and June 2002. So as to improve their crime prevention capacity, a 'Special Patrols Unit' consisting of 90 officers, was established in August 2002. This unit has the capacity and resources to search 4000 vehicles per week, patrol 60 major shopping complexes nine times a day, and to mount 58 road blocks per day.
One of the JMPD's targets is that there should be a sighting of a patrol vehicle at least every eleven minutes in the inner-city, with a 45 second response time to any call for help. It is believed that improved visibility and response time will contribute to crime prevention.
The JMPD have shown innovation in looking for indicators that reflect their overall impact in the areas within which they operate. To this end, they have looked at hospital and court data, to determine if there have been changes in those statistics. According to the Police Chief, the impact of the JMPD can be seen in the noticeable decrease in gun-shot wounds at the Trauma Unit at Baragwanath Hospital, and in decreasing numbers of cases on Johannesburg court rolls. (However, both these trends could be attributed to other factors other than the activities of the metro police).
Tshwane Metro Police
The Tshwane Metro Police have tackled the crime prevention function by establishing a Tshwane Crime Prevention forum consisting of representatives from the SAPS, local government, business, academic institutions and NGO's. Crime prevention strategies and implementation plans have been developed in the forum.
The TMPS states that its crime prevention function will also be delivered through visible policing, 'zero tolerance' and crackdown operations. In relation to crime prevention activities, in June 2002 (a sample month) they made 213 arrests. The largest proportion of these arrests, however, were for pedestrians walking illegally on the freeways (50), and for drinking in public (43), possession of drugs (39), illegal immigrants (38), drinking and driving (19), possession of stolen property (12) and robbery (12).
The TMPS intends using crime statistics and community surveys in the future to determine its impact on crime in the Tshwane Metro Area.
Ekurhuleni Metro Police
At the time of research, the three crime categories prioritised by the EMPS were theft of motor vehicles, hi-jackings and narcotics. In an attempt to maximise its impact in the crime prevention function, the EMPS has established specialised unit called the Rapid Response Unit (RRU) to deal with these priority crimes.
A system was being introduced (called 'Compustat') that would provide the EMPS with information regarding its key performance areas. As this system was not fully implemented at the time of the research, detailed statistics reflecting the work of the EMPS could not be provided. However, information was presented that revealed that EMPS officers had made 1 900 arrests, recovered 15 illegal firearms, 92 stolen vehicles and R1.9 million worth of stolen property, between February and July 2002.
With respect to "Social Crime Prevention", particular officers had been trained to educate communities through a "Drug Abuse Reconstruction project" (DARE), anti-hijacking education, safety hints in and outside the house, road safety education and "community policing themes". These educational activities targetted schools, industries, businesses, old age homes and community forums. According to the EMPS, 20 000 community members were addressed in these education and awareness sessions between February and July 2002.
Except for the Cape Town City Police, all four other MPSs are largely made up of former traffic officers. This reality, coupled with the legal requirement that the formation of a metro police department should not prejudice traffic policing, has resulted in the MPSs primarily focusing on traffic control.
Most of the traffic control work involves enforcing the Road Traffic Act No. 29 of 1989. Typically, traffic work undertaken by the MPSs includes stopping vehicles and checking for licences and roadworthiness, enforcing the law against motorists who are speeding, driving recklessly or are drunk. The MPS's are also responsible for dealing with traffic accidents and other obstacles to smooth traffic flow. The table below shows the number of traffic citations issued by metro police officers over different periods.
Traffic Citations Issued Period Durban 519 110 2001 Cape Town 70 000 Dec 01 – June 02 Johannesburg 8 241 Jan 02 – June 02 Tswane 61 126 July 01- June 02 Ekurhuleni 1 892 705 Feb 02 – Oct 02
Durban Metro Police
The DMPS uses the following performance measures as a way of determining the impact of its traffic work: changes in the number of road accidents; number of speed and red robot violations; changes in the number of goods vehicles utilizing roads, and changes in levels of traffic congestion at certain locations. During 2001, a total of 519110 traffic citations (tickets) were issued in the Durban metropolitan area.
Cape Town City Police
The Cape Town City Police uses statistical information such as the number of arrests, incidents responded to, or contraventions reported, to measure its traffic enforcement function. From the date of establishment in December 2001 up until June 2002, the CPS had issued an average of 10 000 traffic tickets per month. During this time there were over 400 fatal accidents in the Metro (roughly 65 per month). The CPS sees its traffic related role containing two key functions, law enforcement and education; and aims to measure its performance in this regard through reduction in numbers of fatal accidents and an increase in the revenue collected from traffic fines.
Johannesburg Metro Police
Between January and June 2002, a total of 8 241 calls from the public were logged at the JMPS call centre. A vast majority, (77%) of these calls were traffic related. During its first year of operation in 2001, of the over 12 000 people who were arrested by the JMPS, 90% (10 915) were arrested for outstanding traffic fines. Between July to September 2002, 4 851 vehicles were stopped, of which 3848 were searched. During the same period, 10 250 traffic citations were issued. Operation "Nude Ant" held in October 2002 saw the JMPS stopping 17000 vehicles throughout the Johannesburg Metro area, of which 14 000 were searched.
Tshwane Metro Police
A glance at the cases logged in Tshwane reveals that a vast majority of these are traffic-related. Of the 61 126 cases logged for period between June 2001 and June 2002, approximately 99.5% of them were related to traffic enforcement, with 88% of these as a result of speed cameras, rather than police work.
Ekurhuleni Metro Police
Between February and June 2002, the EMPS issued 1 892 705 traffic citations. These fines were issued in respect of offences relating to speeding, overloading of both freight and passengers, defects on motor vehicles and changing of lanes unsafely. During the period February 2002 to June 2002, a total of 410 fatal accidents had occurred in the Metro Area. However, the deployment of officers on the N3 and the N12 was presented as having reduced fatal accidents by 5% in that period, as compared with the same period in previous years.
By-law enforcement receives the least attention of the three metro police functions. One of the primary reasons for this is that the Metro Councils are still in the process of streamlining and promulgating municipal by-laws. As the new Metro areas encompass a number of previous municipalities, there are different by-laws for different parts of the Metro's. As far as policing goes, this is a difficult situation in which Metro officers would have to know and enforce a number of different municipal by-laws for the same problem (e.g. dumping of waste) in different parts of the city. Furthermore, most of these by-laws were promulgated prior to 1994 and might fail a constitutional challenge.
The promulgation of new municipal by-laws is no small challenge. There are literally hundreds of by-laws, and Metro councils have had to try and find ways of prioritising those that they will most likely need to enforce. Once particular issues have been identified as needing new by-laws, a lengthy process then has to take place before the law finally comes into operation. The Johannesburg Metro Council, for example has a 10-stage process which before by-laws are passed. This process includes various drafts of the new law being considered by the Mayoral committee, the relevant Council portfolio committees, and then being presented for public debate and consultation before heading back to the relevant council committees for final approval.
There are local government structures other than the Metro Police which may also enforce certain by-laws and regulations related to national legislation e.g. fire department; water department, health department, planning department. Consequently, most of the Metro Police departments have been focusing on particular types of by-laws (such as those regulating hawking, land invasions, and illegal dumping) and have left the enforcement of, say health by-laws and regulations to the metro health department, and fire regulations to the fire department etc. Total figures provided on by-law enforcement in the cities are as follows:
By-law Enforcement Period Durban Unknown Cape Town 151 Feb 02 – June 02 Johannesburg 32 848 Jan 02 – June 02 Tshwane 820 June 01- June 02 Ekurhuleni Unknown
Durban Metro Police Services
No information was available regarding the by-law enforcement function in eThekwini Metro. However, one key performance measure on which data is gathered is the level of illegal trading in certain areas (particularly in the Durban CBD).
Cape Town City Police
By-law enforcement has taken up relatively little of the City Police focus to date, as the City Legal Advisors' Office is in the process of re-drafting the by-laws. Nevertheless, 151 notifications were issued in respect of by-law contraventions between February 2002 and June 2002. During this period, by-law enforcement priorities included illegal dumping, littering, urinating and drinking in public.
Johannesburg Metro Police
The city of Johannesburg has recently published new draft by-laws for public comment. During the period July to September 2002, the JMPS claimed that it had handled 32 848 cases involving by-law violations. Although a detailed breakdown of this information was not provided, this case-load was said to include citations issued to hawkers and groups of illegal land occupiers. The JMPD, together with the City Improvement Districts, have been seen as successful in removing illegal hawkers from the inner-city areas of Johannesburg. Clearly, some Johannesburg residents are aware of the by-law enforcement function; as, during the first 6 months of 2002, members of the public made 425 calls to the JMPD call centre relating to noise or disturbance of the peace, which are by-law contraventions.
Tshwane Metro Police
As a sample month, during the month of June 2002, a total of 820 activities were logged in relation to by-law contraventions. This included 496 illegal advertising signs being removed, and 329 notices issued to informal traders related to illegal trading.
Ekurhuleni Metro Police
The process of promulgating the new by-laws was underway in Ekurhuleni during 2002. Until the new laws are in force, however, EMPS officers are expected to emphasize by-law education rather than enforcement. This by-law education has been focussed on particular activities such as electricity-theft, illegal dumping and waste removal.
As has been previously mentioned, a significant challenge confronting the new metro policing agencies is how they fulfil and balance their three statutory functions. The public concern about high crime levels in the metropolitan areas means that there is substantial pressure for these agencies to make an impact on the crime rate. Their ability to balance all three functions will become increasingly challenging, as members of the public and politicians increasingly start to ask the question why they devote so much energy to issuing tickets for traffic violations, when they could be tackling crime and urban decay.
In an effort to break with the past (being mainly former traffic officers) and establish themselves as 'proper' policing agencies, the MPS's are promising that they will reduce crime They are starting to adopt the following traditional policing strategies:
- Provide a sense of 'omnipresence' through high visibility patrols throughout the Metro area. The objective is that visible policing will ensure that MPS officers are better able to detect and deter crime in the Metro area
- Respond rapidly to calls for assistance. The objective of this is to increase the likelihood of police officials arresting offenders before they can flee crime scenes.
Metro Police Performance
The MPS's performance has thus far been measured by the number of arrests, response times, and number of citations (tickets) issued; but scientific studies elsewhere in the world have failed to prove that these activities have any impact on crime levels (Sherman, 1998). Some of the statistics provided by the MPS's raise questions about how information is recorded. For example, Johannesburg indicated 12 000 arrests between April and December 2001, yet only 449 arrests were recorded at the JMPD call centre in the subsequent year between February and July 2002.
It is increasingly being recognised by criminologists and policing analysists that even the assumption that police can generally reduce the crime rate is one that is deeply flawed. Blumstein (1995:6) observes that:There seems to be wide agreement that a large fraction of the crime rate – particularly the violent crime rate – is largely immutable and unresponsive to anything that the police might do short of a massive intensification of police presence in the community and in everyone's lives.
Similarly, the Police Chief who was head of the New York City Police Department during the period that saw a substantial decrease in the crime rate, William Bratton (1999:17) also points out thatPolice effort alone cannot keep people from becoming criminals or control the social and demographic forces that, according to many criminologists, engender criminal activities … . Crime is pulled by an engine of social and demographic trends … . Police activities have little or no appreciable effect on crime, despite public ideology and political rhetoric periodically mustered to justify larger police budgets and staffing increases.
South African Metro Police agencies making broad claims about reducing the general crime rate in their cities may be setting targets that they cannot hope to achieve. This is not to say that they cannot have some influence on the crime rate, but it is important that the activities that they undertake can be clearly linked to specific changes in crime patterns. Following an assessment of scientific evaluations of various policing 'crime prevention' strategies and tactics in the USA, Lawrence Sherman (1998) points out that crime generally will not be prevented through the use of the following policing strategies:
- Generally reducing police response times;
- Random patrols;
- Random arrests or arrests of some juveniles for minor offences;
- Drug market arrests;
- Community policing with no clear crime-risk factor analysis.
The reasons why some of the above strategies have no crime prevention benefit are extremely complex and may be specific to certain locations. However, as regards to random patrols and improved response rates, Sherman found that the occasional success that comes from the use of these tactics will have no bearing on the general extent of crime occurring in cities (Ibid). This does not mean that these tactics are of no use and therefore should not be used in South African cities. One of the potential benefits of random patrols and rapid response times is that they improve public confidence in the police and contribute to reducing the fear of crime. This, in turn can make communities more confident in tackling crime, and becoming more resistant to crime activities, which would prevent the crime rate from getting worse.
Given that the police are in the business of 'crime fighting', it can be assumed that what they do will have some consequence on crime. However, these consequences are not always predictable or apparent. Some scientific studies have shown that, "arbitrary arrests can sometimes increase crime" (Sherman, 1998, p. 24). It is therefore important that police agencies are able to gather specific data about their own activities and about the other factors that might contribute to crime in the areas where they operate.
The Role of the Metro Police
Metro Police agencies that take cognisance of the available international research findings on policing methods may develop crime prevention approaches that prove more successful. Sherman, (1998) highlights how the following policing activities can yield positive results in reducing certain types of crime:
- When the police strategy is very focused, rather than general;
- Patrols that are directed at particular crime hot-spots;
- Proactive arrests that are aimed at serious repeat offenders or at high-risk geographical areas;
- Proactive drunk driving arrests;
- Arrests of suspects for domestic violence when the suspect is employed;
- Street policing and interaction with the public that is conducted in a polite manner to build police legitimacy amongst the public.
It would also be a mistake for the Metro Police to shirk their traffic enforcement and by-law enforcement functions in response to public pressure for a heavier focus on 'crime prevention.' Both functions have important roles to play in preventing crime. Sherman (1998) has highlighted evidence that traffic enforcement activities can assist in the reduction of robbery and gun crime. Indeed, there have been claims by a MPS chief that the highly visible traffic work of the metro police officers has led to a reduction in crime in general in the CBD of his city (though this claim has not been empirically tested).
The 'broken windows' approach to order maintenance emphasises the importance of by-law enforcement. The broken window' is a metaphor for the state of order in a community. If buildings are left uncared for, litter and waste accumulate, people drink in public and harass passers-by, residents start to believe that the neighbourhood is falling apart and modify their behaviour. They become less trustful and confident in their surroundings, may leave or avoid the area and the area becomes vulnerable to a criminal invasion (Wilson and Kelling, 1997:427). It is for this reason that the by-law enforcement function of the MPS is critically important and can have an important influence on the reduction of crime and on fear of crime.
Sherman (1998:21) points out that a "growing body of research suggests that police legitimacy prevents crime." Police legitimacy becomes established when the public perceive the police to be responsive to their needs, when they see arrestees treated respectfully, and when police engage in 'problem orientated policing.' The converse is also true, that when the police are unresponsive, disrespectful or engaged in activities for their own benefit, they are actually contributing to the crime problem. They fail to be a deterrent and may provoke rebellion or vigilantism. Thus, ensuring proper respect for civilians would be a useful objective for the Metro Police agencies.
Metro Police Accountability
In most democratic systems, police agencies are required to account to a number of different structures and groupings. The MPSs in South African cities are accountable to:
- Elected officials (e.g. the mayor, the Council section 80 committees, elected councillors),
- Chapter Nine institutions (eg the Human Rights Commission),
- Other oversight structures (the Independent Complaints Directorate), and
- The communities they serve (through accounting to CPFs, section 79 Civilian Oversight Committees, the media).
Accountability however, requires that the MPSs are able to clearly articulate their vision, strategies and plans, and that they collect data to demonstrate the actual work performance of the police agency. To this end, the MPSs all have 'Strategic Plans', are in the process of defining their roles, and implementing systems for measuring their performance. As has been argued above, however, careful consideration needs to be given to the objectives set by the MPSs if they are to enhance their accountability and legitimacy. Strategies have to be detailed and focused, with narrower objectives. As some MPSs may discover, they cannot take sole responsibility for bringing the crime rate of a city down by, say, 10% in a few years. Even if this were to happen, there will be a number of other powerful political and organisational interests (e.g, the SAPS) who will be quick to take the credit. Similarly, when reporting to councils and the public, MPS's will need to provide detailed accounts of their use of resources.
The South African MPSs have displayed an early awareness of the need for careful performance measurement, and some have already begun to consider innovative techniques, (e.g. community surveys, hospital admissions), though we have yet to see quality empirical data being produced or used.
It is critical that MPSs recognise that building legitimacy amongst the various communities that they serve requires more than merely reporting to committees and attending CPF meetings. It requires that all MPS officers act in a polite and professional manner towards all civilians including the most marginalised people in the communities (the youth, the poor, the elderly, refugees, hawkers). Given that much of police work on the streets is not directly supervised, and that large amounts of police time cannot be specifically accounted for, it is important to ensure that systems are in place to receive feedback from the public. It is therefore also necessary that strong systems are in place to receive, investigate and act on complaints from the public. Fortunately, most of the MPSs have established complaints systems and internal investigation structures to ensure that integrity will be maintained. The challenge will be to ensure that these are properly supported, and that complaint information is analysed and utilised for management decision-making.
In conclusion, it is far too early to make any pronouncements as to the impact of the MPSs in their new roles of preventing crime or enforcing by-laws. Most of their work to date has focused on traffic control, which, given their historical evolution, is to be expected. Nevertheless, they have generally managed to develop high profiles and are recognised in the cities where they operate. MPS managers appear to recognise the importance of performance measurement and are establishing systems to ensure that their impact can be better evaluated. They are also aware of the importance of the community policing paradigm and of engaging with issues of civilian oversight and accountability. As long as there remains a serious focus on these issues, Metro Police agencies may contribute substantially to the future of policing in South Africa.
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Key Theme Specific Statistical Information 1. Precinct Information 1.1 Size of the Metro Precinct in Km2 1.2 Total size of population living in Metro precinct? 1.3 Estimated size of populations living in:
- Informal Squatter camps
2. Budget 2.1 Total Metro Police Department Budget Allocation 2.2 Percentage of the total budget allocated to salaries 3. Personnel 3.1 Total Number of Metro Police Department Personnel 3.2 Number of Operational personnel (active officers) 3.3 Number of Administrative/support personnel 3.4 Number of personnel in each rank 3.5 Racial breakdown of personnel per rank 3.6 Gender breakdown of personnel per rank 3.7 Proportion of personnel that belonged to the previous Traffic Departments 4. Vehicles 4.1 Total Number of vehicles 4.2 Number of marked Patrol Vehicles 4.3 Number of Vehicles boarded (un-operational) 5. Specific Performance Indicators 5.1 Out of 100%, roughly what percentage of time and resources are focused on each of the following three areas:
- Traffic policing
- By-law enforcement
- Crime prevention
5.2 Number of traffic fines issued per month between June 2001 to June 2002 5.3 Amount in Rands of fines issued per month between June 2001 to June 2002 5.4 Numbers of fatal accidents per month between June 2001 to June 2002 5.5 Numbers of vehicles impounded monthly between June 2001 and June 2002 5.6 Numbers of arrests made between June 2001 and June 2002 5.7 Numbers of roadblocks held between June 2001 and June 2002 5.8 Number of notifications regarding by-law contraventions between June 2001 and June 2008 5.9 Figures for any other specific performance indicators used 6. Accountability 6.1 Number of disciplinary hearings held monthly between June 2001 to June 2002 6.2 Number of suspensions of MPS officials per month between June 2001 to June 2002 6.3 Number of dismissals of MPS officials per month between June 2001 to June 2002 6.4 Number of criminal charges laid against MPS officials per month between June 2001 to June 2002 monthly 6.5 Number of criminal convictions against MPS officials per month between June 2001 to June 2002 6.6 Number of sick or study leave days taken per month between June 2001 to June 2002
Key Theme Qualitative Information Required 1. Organogram 1.1 A graphic organogram of all the structures/ departments of the MPS. 1.2 A brief description of the aims/ objectives of each structure/ department in the organogram. 2. Policy Making 2.1 How are policy decisions made? 2.2 How are policy decisions communicated throughout the MPS? 2.4 What are the current by-law enforcement priorities of the MPS? 2.5 What are the current crime prevention priorities of the MPS? 2.6 In which part of the Metro precinct (business districts, townships, suburbs, informal settlements etc) are MPS resources primarily focused? 3. Performance and Personnel Management 3.1 What indicators are used to measure the performance and / or impact of the MPS as a whole? 3.2 Describe the shift system in use, including the number of officials on duty in each shift. 3.3 Describe the minimum criteria needed to be recruited into the MPS 3.4 Describe the recruitment and selection process of the MPS. 3.5 What training is available for new recruits and how many MPS officials have undergone this training? 3.6 Describe the process and requirements for MPS officials to receive a promotion. 3.7 What incentives or rewards are available to MPS officers for outstanding work performance? 4. Accountability Systems 4.1 What are the key external accountability structures (civilian oversight) that the MPS has to report to?, 4.2 How often does the MPS report to these structures and what information is provided? 4.3 How do civilians register complaints against MPS officials and describe the process thereafter? 4.4 How does the MPS internal disciplinary system work? 4.5 Does the MPS have an 'internal affaires' unit? 4.6 If so, what is its function, capacity and where is it located? 4.7 How are personnel recruited for the internal affairs unit? 4.8 Who is in charge of the internal affairs unit and what is this person's status in the MPS? 4.9 In what way are the activities of the internal affairs unit protected from interference by other members? 4.10 Has the MPS taken any steps to encourage whistle blowing by MPS members and to support whistle blowers? 4.11 What is the nature of the MPS's working relationship with the SAPS and how is this relationship managed or coordinated? 4.12 Name other key structures that the MPS works closely with and how are these relationships managed or coordinated? 5. Recent Development and Future Challenges 5.1 Describe the most important recent developments relating to the MPS in 2002 (January to July). 5.2 Explain the key challenges presently facing the MPS? 5.3 Explain the most significant development expected to occur by early 2003.
If available, the following documents are requested.
Documents 1. Integrated Development Plan (sections relevant for the MPS) 2. Most recent Metropolitan Police Department Strategic Plan 3. Any reports of the MPS (annual, bi-annual, quarterly?) 4. Any policy document, or internal memorandums relevant to the above themes.
1 For the purposes of this report the generic anachronism for the Metro Police organisations will be MPS. In the Ethekwini Metro Area the agency is referred to as the "Durban Metro Police Service (DMPS), in Cape Town the term "City Police" is used, and in Gauteng they are generally known as 'police departments'.
2 List of police stations is available at http://www.saps.gov.za
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