New CPF policy

Community police forums will have a lot more bite if a policy tabled for public comment is approved.

The Civilian Secretariat for Police Service’s (CSPS) draft policy on community police forums closes for public comment on Friday September 15. The policy seeks to shift management of the CPFs from the police – over which they are supposed to have oversight – to the secretariat.

The draft says the secretariat should “facilitate community participation” in the police service, “ensuring police accountability” and “identifying policing projects with the police” among others, in line with the 2016 White Paper on Policing.

Placing the CPFs under the SAPS had “partly constrained” them, the policy says.

Some CPFs have welcomed the policy while others have not heard of it.

Sean McClelland, the CPF chairman for Brackenfell, said he had read the complete document.

“In essence this document re-ignites our fight for the laws we are constituted through,” he said. “This will give CPFs the full right of oversight, as opposed to now.”

Mr McClelland said the policy would also help to cut red tape. “There’s the minister of police, the deputy minister of police and then the secretariat, which deals directly with the minister. It shortens the chain of command.”

A copy of the draft policy can be viewed online. Those who wish to comment can email Bilkis.Omar@csp.gov.za