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Demystifying Community Policing 1: INTRODUCTION
This is the first in a range of articles which aims to bring Harties residents up to speed about the extent of the legislation governing community policing, as well as the roles, rights and responsibilities of the SAP and the local Harties community in this regard.
This range of articles is focussed on those who want to know the actual facts about Community Policing and takes as a given that those so inclined are willing to investigate the issues involved. People who want to see and understand for themselves - not only work on hearsay from others. As such, these people will be better able to give accurate opinions on where we as Harties community stand in terms of adherence to the laws, regulations and our own Forum constitutions, where such exist. While thinking for themselves they will be able to guide the less informed and hold the authorities accountable where required.
Hopefully the community will be better able to make informed decisions after looking and seeing for themselves.
The following is the applicable Regulatory Framework for Community Policing:
1. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996
2. South African Police Service Act, 1995 (Act No. 68 of 1995)
3. Private Security Industry Regulation Act, 2001 (Act No 56 of 2001)
4. Merchandise Marks Act, 1941 (Act No. 17 of 1941)
5. Heraldry Act, 1962 (Act No. 18 of 1962)
6. Defence Act, 2002 (Act No.42 of 2002)
7. Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002)
8. Criminal Procedure Act,1977 (Act No 51 of 1977)
9. National Road Traffic Regulations, 2000, promulgated by GNR 225 of 17 March 2000
10. South African Police Service Interim Regulations for Community Police Forums and Boards promulgated by GNR 384 of 11 May 2001
11. The promotion of Access of Information Act, 2000 (Act No.2 of 2000)
12. Firearm Control Act, 2000 (Act 60 of 2000)
13. The Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013 (Act 4 of 2013)
For purposes of this demystification, we will be focussing on Items 2) and 10) above, though we must always keep in mind adherence to the larger regulatory framework as well.
Other important documents governing our Community Policing efforts in Harties are:
a) SAP National Instruction 3 of 2013: Sector Policing
b) Hartbeespoort Community Policing Forum Constitution
c) CPF Sub-Forums and / or Sector Crime Forum Constitutions
We shall focus on these 5 documents or sets of documents to get a better understanding of Community Policing and the impact thereof on a practical level, namely on the crime that we as community face in our daily experience.
There may come up reference to other supportive documents, i.e. SAP legal opinions and official guideline documents.
We need, however, to untangle the issues, clarify particular ambiguities and get the fastest way to practical correct implementation, while trying not to again drown the readers in a flood of difficultly understandable documents.