The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) is a leading African policy research and training organisation. The vision of the ISS is a peaceful and prosperous Africa for all its people. The mission and overall goal of the ISS is to advance human security in Africa through evidence-based policy advice, technical support and capacity building. The Governance, Crime and Justice Division (GCJ) of the ISS aims to promote democratic governance and reduce corruption through enhanced levels of accountability, transparency and respect for human rights in African democracies; and reduce crime and improve justice by assisting African governments to develop evidence-based policies, legislation and strategies and improve the performance of their criminal justice systems The ISS & the GCJ Division
The Annual Reports of the SAPS and IPID for the 2012/13 financial year are comprehensive and detailed. It also contains examples of excellent performance by both institutions The purpose of the ISS submission therefore is to raise some of the performance issues that emerge from an ongoing monitoring of these institutions and their reports & to highlight possible gaps that could assist the committee with its oversight role The ISS submission does not cover every aspect of these reports, but focuses primarily on issues relating to programme performance & resource management that might require further attention The submission will first deal with the SAPS Annual Report and then with the IPID statistical report. Introduction
SAPS Annual Report 2012/13 General comments: The report is comprehensive and in many areas quite detailed The summary at the end of almost all programmes and other areas, titled ‘Strategies to overcome areas of under- performance’, is quite useful. It recognises underperformance and provides an indication of steps to address these It remains a concern that the Civilian Secretariat for Police Annual Report (pp.60-68) is contained within the SAPS Annual Report. Consequently, there is very little detail as to the impact that the Civilian Secretariat is having with regards to the performance of its oversight function.
SAPS Annual Report 2012/13 Two issues of particular importance: 1.Crime statistics and analysis: o The SAPS miscalculated the changes in the crime ratios between 2011/12 and 2012/13. This was because the 2011/12 crime ratios were based on out-dated & incorrect population estimates. The ISS wrote to the Minister, the NatCom and the Secretary requesting a discussion in this regard. o The ISS proposes a reference group on the analysis and use of crime statistics and related information. It could be representative of the SAPS Research Unit, the Civilian Secretariat for Police, National Planning Commission, StatsSA, the HSRC & civil society organisations (including police unions & universities) o The ISS also proposes a more regular release of the crime statistics. At station level, for example, a monthly release will inform communities about crime trends and threats in their areas and enable them to take better informed decisions, etc.
SAPS Annual Report 2012/13 Two issues of particular importance: 2. The SAPS Inspectorates: o The SAPS Annual Report contains no information on the performance of this crucially important division or its provincial offices o Many of the weaknesses or underperformance indicated in the report suggests failures in relation to regular and thorough inspections at all police stations, units and other offices o It is important that the number of inspections that are undertaken annually (i.e. announced and unannounced) and the systemic problems identified are presented in the annual report. o The committee should also be informed of the steps being undertaken to address these systemic problems so that effective oversight can be exercised.
SAPS complaints mechanism (pp.30-31): The report lists 4 ‘mechanisms’: o SAPS National Complaints Line (SAPS) o Presidential Hotline (Presidency) o 24-Hour Call Centre (SAPS Centre for Service Excellence) o Anti-Corruption Hotline (Public Service Commission) Some concerns: It is unclear whether all of the police-centered complaints are eventually centralised for purposes of proper control, feedback and analysis The portfolio committee should request more information on the nature of complaints, how they were resolved and what follow-up actions were taken against responsible members Given the low numbers of complaints received compared with the IPID, questions should be asked about the effectiveness of these mechanisms? SAPS Annual Report 2012/13
Programme 2: Visible policing: pp.73, 79 & 80: Lost/stolen firearms – Of the state firearms lost/stolen, almost 95% (2 300) were SAPS firearms. This follows an annual pattern and only 21% (492) were recovered. On 18 September 2012 the Police Minister called for the police to strengthen their firearms control. What has happened since then? p.83: Table 16: Firearm inspections/audits – of the firearms confiscated nationally, 98% (1 235) were confiscated in the Free State. This should be explained. pp.74, 86 & 87: Police reaction times – Read with Auditor General’s Report on p.203 ‘Reaction time … could not be verified as no systems are in place by SAPS to confirm reliability’. pp.75, 100 – 102: Sub-programme: Specialised interventions (STF, NIU, TRT & POP) – Useful statistics of operations/actions are provided, but the committee may find it useful to ask for figures on the number of deaths or injuries (SAPS or public) during these operations. The SAPS Annual Report 2012/13
Programme 2: Visible policing: p.91: Deaths of Police Officers: We welcome the reduction of police officers murdered on duty. However we remain concerned about the overall increase in the number of police officials murdered from 81 to 84 (mostly off-duty). It would be useful for the committee to be given information as to the specific steps taken to reduce murders both on and off-duty. We draw attention to the fact that there has also been a decrease in the number of people who have been killed by the police. This has occurred in the context of increasing numbers of arrests for murders and robberies. This supports the argument that less violent policing is also in the interest of the police. The SAPS Annual Report 2012/13
Programme 2: Sub-programme: Crime prevention: p.76: Police actions – There is some confusion between ‘police actions’ and ‘crime prevention operations’. Clarification is needed. p.76: Table 9 shows substantial decreases in roadblocks (16%), cordon & search operations (37%), premises searched and farm checks. What are the reasons? p.77: Given that there have been decreases in key police activities why are there increases in arrests for murder (16%), house robbery (48%), and drug related crimes, as well as increases in arrests for most other crimes. p.104: Strategies to overcome areas of underperformance - no mention is made of how the persistent problem of lost and stolen SAPS firearms is to be handled. The SAPS Annual Report 2012/13
Programme 2: Sub-programme: Crime prevention: p.94: Implementation of the Domestic Violence Act – Table 27: It is strange that 200 of 208 cases of non-compliance by SAPS members nationally, occurred in the WC. The committee should receive an explanation as to why this is the case? p.97: Victim Friendly Rooms (VFR’s) – In March 2012 there were 925 VFR’s compared to 919 in March Why was there a reduction of 6 VFRs? The SAPS Annual Report 2012/13
Programme 3: Detective Service: p.120: Detective Court Case Officers – 142 of these officers were appointed in the provinces to, inter alia, ‘screen new cases for completeness & that they comply with the public prosecutor’s instructions’. This is the responsibility of the Branch Commander at every police station. The SAPS should explain what is being done to ensure that they perform their duties properly? p.124: Monitoring and evaluations are carried out through ‘inspections’ to ensure effective ‘command and control’. The SAPS should explain who carries out these inspections, how many inspections, at what intervals & what are the results? pp : Case docket management: Lost/stolen case dockets – SAPS should explain what steps are being taken to prevent the loss/theft of case dockets & what actions are taken against responsible members? The SAPS Annual Report 2012/13
Programme 4: Crime Intelligence (CI): p.142: Some information (including statistics) of network operations are provided, but nothing is reported in relation to covert operations. This is mentioned in the SAPS Annual Performance Plan for 2013/14, but no indication is provided on the number of such operations. The increase in more organised types of crime such as aggravated robberies should be explained as good crime intelligence will lead to reductions p.144: According to Table 49, in 2012/13 CI produced 60% fewer communication analysis reports than in 2011/12; 44% fewer communication interception reports; and 33% fewer Intelligence analysis reports. The SAPS should explain why the decreases have occurred? In this Programme, unlike the rest of the report, there is no provision for ‘Strategies to overcome areas of underperformance’. Given the National Commissioner’s admission on 18 September 2013 in parliament that CI is ‘ailing’ and her public comments that CI ‘needs cleaning up’, what steps are being taken?
The SAPS Annual Report 2012/13 Part C: Governance: Fraud and corruption: p.160: As with the SAPS’ complaints mechanism, there are a confusing array of reporting lines and investigating structures for fraud and corruption by SAPS officials. A more centralised office or mechanism is needed that could better coordinate these reports and investigations, and provide consolidated and credible reports on complaints, investigations and outcomes. P.160: It is reported that 892 members were charged with counts relating to ‘fraud and corruption related matters’. Of these only 22 were suspended and 870 were not suspended. The SAPS should explain the new criterion for suspending members facing serious charges?
The SAPS Annual Report 2012/13 Part E: Additional comments from the Report by the Auditor General (AG): p.203: The committee should request the SAPS to explain the AGs finding (on Programme 2: Visible Policing) that a number of ‘significant’ targets are ‘misstated.’ p.204: SAPS should also explain what is being done in response to the finding that commanders at station level did not exercise their oversight responsibility over the reporting on predetermined objectives? p.204: SAPS should explain what is being done in response to the finding that commanders at provincial level responsible did not exercise oversight to ensure adherence to internal controls, policies and procedures at programme and objective level for the purpose of taking corrective actions?
ICD Mandate (in terms of the SAPS Act): Section 53 (2) (a) – (c): (a) “[The Directorate] may mero motu or upon receipt of a complaint, investigate any misconduct or offence allegedly committed by any member, and may, where appropriate, refer such investigation to the Commissioner concerned; (b) [The Directorate] shall mero motu or upon receipt of a complaint, investigate any death in custody or as a result of police action; and (c) [The Directorate] may investigate any matter referred to [it] by the Minister or the member of the executive Council. Section 53 (6) (b), (c) and (i), the Executive Director may (b) request and obtain information from any Commissioner or police official as may be necessary for conducting any investigation; (c) (i) monitor the progress of; (ii) set guidelines regarding; and (iii) request and obtain information regarding an investigation referred to a Commissioner and (iv) make recommendations to the Commissioner concerned. Understanding the IPID Annual Report 2012/13
Understanding the IPID Report (Contd ) The IPID Mandate (in terms of the IPID Act): Section 28(1): IPID is obligated to investigate the following matters: (a) any deaths in police custody; (b) deaths as a result of police actions; (c) any complaint relating to the discharge of an official firearm by any police officer (d) rape by a police officer, whether the police officer is on or off duty; (e) rape of any person while that person is in police custody; (f) any complaint of torture or assault against a police officer; (g) corruption matters within the police initiated by the Executive Director on his or her own, or after the receipt of a complaint from a member of the public, or referred to the Directorate by the Minister, an MEC or the Secretary; and (h) any other matter referred to it as a result of a decision by the Executive Director, or if so requested by the Minister, an MEC or the Secretary Section 28(2): IPID may investigate matters relating to systemic corruption involving the police.
Different mandates (ICD & IPID) and the provisions of section 29 – obligation on SAPS members to report ‘matters’ referred to in section 28(1)(a) – (b) to IPID in writing and within 24 hours – makes any comparison with previous years problematic. (Within this context) IPID received cases during 2012/13. This constitutes an increase of 37% from cases in 2011/12, but the only categories where comparison is possible, are deaths in police custody or as a result of police action, assault and torture (See Table on next slide). Crimes of assault and torture are also associated with the concept of police brutality. During 2011/12 there were such incidents, compared to in 2012/13 (an increase of 218%). The apparent reason for this huge increase is that in the past most of these were investigated by SAPS and not included in ICD reports. In view of public interest this area of reporting could receive more attention. It would be useful to do further research on these differences and the reasons thereof, but proper comparisons will probably only be possible with the availability of future IPID reports. The IPID Statistical Report (investigative activities)
Incidents investigated (deaths in brackets)2011/ /13 Tot 2012/13 SAPSMPS Deaths in police custody Deaths as a result of police action (485) Complaints of discharge of off. firearms Rape by police officer (on/off duty) Rape in police custody522- Complaints of torture8050- Complaints of assault (all types) Corruption (complaints or initiated) Other criminal matters Misconduct Systemic corruption116-6 Non-compliance with section Total
Concluding remarks It is clear that much work is being undertaken by members of the SAPS for which they should be thanked. It is, however, of concern that key challenges relating to inadequate leadership, management and accountability that were identified almost a decade ago continue to occur. The SAPS needs to do things differently. We therefore recommend the urgent implementation of the recommendations in the National Development Plan.