Effective policing is a pre-requisite for a law-abiding and orderly society, within which the lives and property of citizens are protected, thus allowing people to pursue their everyday lives in peace and harmony. Law and order is, therefore, a prerequisite for the attainment of justice and equity in society.
The IFP believes that policing is most effectively controlled at provincial and local government level. Each province should have its own provincial police force under the command of a Provincial Commissioner who should report to the Provincial Minister for Safety and Security. The functions of the national police force should be limited to international police co-operation, the investigation of national crime and advanced training. The Safety and Security Ministry should be empowered to effect control over national policing policy.
Policing and the constitutional dispensation
Staff appointments, including those of advisors, should be based strictly on appropriate qualifications and experience so as to ensure that policies formulated by the government of the day are implemented. Police recruitment should match the demographic composition of the population, but quality and merit should be paramount considerations in staffing. Within the constraints of the budget, police officers should be paid fair, work-related salaries.
Because the police cannot independently investigate themselves, a highly professional independent and well-resourced body, free from political influence, should be established to fulfil this role.
While crime prevention remains the responsibility of the entire community, community policing does not absolve the government from the primary responsibility of maintaining law and order and fighting crime. Community police forums should develop comprehensive plans to identify and to address key crime problems and areas. Police stations in rural areas should be optimally sited.
Problem orientation and visible policing
Policing should be goal orientated and the police visibility within the community must be enhanced. Petty crimes and criminals should not be overlooked while police concentrate resources on more serious crime. Serious policing of petty crime has the effect of reducing crime at all levels.
The National Police Commissioner must identify national priorities and keep proper crime statistics. Effective support structures, including technical resources, must be available to the police in order to enable them to operate effectively.
Role of national government
Policing should be prioritised in government spending and police services should be provided on an impartial, apolitical basis. Decentralisation and training are priorities for government spending on safety and security.
Although the South African National Defence Force is presently assisting with border policing due to manpower shortages within the South African Police Services, the IFP regards border policing as a police function and full responsibility for this should therefore revert back to the SAPS as soon as possible.