What is the CPF?
Community Policing is a policy and strategy aimed at achieving more effective crime control, reducing fears of crime, improving quality of life, improving police service and police legitimacy, through a proactive reliance on community resources which seeks to change crime-causing conditions. It allows the police and community to work closely together to solve problems of crime, fear of crime, physical and social disorder and neighbourhood decay.
In short: Community Policing it is a partnership between the police and the Community to solve safety problems.
What are the objectives of Community Policing?
The objective of the CPF is to establish a partnership between police and the communities they serve to ensure effective protection of communities and a better quality of life.
- Ensuring that the police address the primary needs of the community and are accountable to them.
- Enhancing the quality of information available to the police resulting in the development of a proactive and problem-solving approach to crime and violence.
- Providing communities with a visible accessible policing presence to enhance public confidence in the police and to deter criminals.
- Aligning the values of the police organisation with those of the new democratic South African, aiming at producing police officers who can interact sensitively with their communities and in a manner that respects local norms and values.
What is a Community Policing Forum?
A Community Police Forum (CPF) means a forum established in terms of section 19(1) of the S.A.P. S. Act, Act 68 of 1995. A CPF is a group of people from different communities and police representatives who meet to discuss safety problems in their communities. A CPF also aims at ensuring police accountability, transparency and effectiveness in the community.
Where will CPFs be established?
At each and every police station in the province.
Who should be consulted and represented in establishing a CPF?
Our country’s Constitution clearly stipulates that in order to establish a CPF a Station Commissioner shall, after consultation with the mayor or his/ her representative of the local Municipality:identify community based organisations and interested individuals from the community including representatives of all the groupings within the community, i.e. religions groups, youth groups political groups, sports clubs, schools and taxi associations. People who are not part of any group or organisation also have a right to be included.
It is also important that the police are well represented i.e. Head of Detective Unit, child unit, etc. The Station Commissioner should always be available at CPF meetings.
What are the functions of CPFs?
The powers and functions of a CPF in the constitution include:
- Promoting accountability of the local police to your community and co-operation of your community with the local police.
- Monitoring the effectiveness and efficiency of the police serving you.
- Examine and advise on local policing priorities.
- Evaluate the provision of services such as:
- Distribution of resources
- The way complaints and charges are handled
- Patrolling of residential and business areas
- Keeping records, writing reports and making recommendations to the Station Commissioners, the Provincial Commissioner and the MEC.
- The CPF will ask questions about local policing matters and request enquires when necessary.
What does a CPF constitution entail?
Each CPF should have its own constitution in line with the principles outlined in the Constitution and Police Act and should include:
- The objective of the Forum
- The structure of the form
- How decisions will be made
- Funding procedures
- Deadlock procedures
What are the roles of Area Boards and Provincial Boards?
All provinces have Area and Provincial Boards. In the Free State there are Area Boards for Eastern Free State, Northern Free State and Southern Free State and these are represented on the Provincial Board.
The function of both Area and Provincial Boards is to evaluate the functioning of CPFs in the province and to co-ordinate the efforts of CPFs with others in the provinces.
The Provincial Board also ensures that minutes and recommendations of the inputs are passed to the MEC who will then recommend possible changes to laws concerning policing.
Why must I join my local CPF?
Communities are comprised of many different people, each with his or her own skills, views and innovative ideas that can make a huge difference in the efficiency and effectiveness of the SA Police Service and the manner social crime prevention is approached in a specific area. Word-of-mouth is an effective tool in spreading a message and informed CPF members can empower their communities to have a say in their own safety and eradicate crime and criminals from their area.
Each one of us wants to live and work without fear of being robbed, raped or attacked. By joining my local CPF I strengthen the human network against evil forces and ensure that I, my family, my neighbours and my community has peace of mind and a safe and secure environment to thrive and prosper in.