This paper argues that the role played by civilian oversight committees should be modelled on that of the 'civilian review' agencies which have emerged in many countries, and which this paper describes. This would involve these agencies in focusing on questions of alleged or possible wrongdoing by the police. Their function would not be an investigative one but would involve ensuring that the municipal police department is taking appropriate steps to minimise wrongdoing by their members and taking proper steps against members who are implicated in wrongdoing.
David Bruce is a Johannesburg-based independent researcher and writer working in the fields of policing, crime and criminal justice. He obtained his Master's Degree Public and Development Management and Bachelor's Degree Bachelor of Arts with majors in Legal Theory and Industrial Sociology from The University of the Witwatersrand.