South African police to communicate better with publicMarch 19th, 2012 - 10:35 am ICT by IANS
Pretoria, March 19 (IANS) Police in South Africa will take steps to improve communication with the public to ensure communities are updated on the work they are doing, state-run news agency BuaNews reported.
This was agreed to at a meeting between Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa and acting National Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi.
According to the ministry, when a member of the public reports a case, some police officers take down statements but do not give updates on investigations to complainants, particularly in areas where progress has been made such as arrests or sentencing of a criminal.
Such lack of communication leads to the impression that police are not effective, the ministry said.
“To correct this, communication and interactions are going to be improved at police station level because that is where investigators interface directly with the public,” it said.
This will be done as part of an ongoing training of police officers, particularly through community forums as well as directly with crime victims.
The officials also agreed that monitoring of police stations needed to be reviewed to allow communities to get involved in the process.
“Police station commanders must attend community policing forums regularly and must be known within the communities which they are policing,” the ministry said.
The meeting also reflected on the need for police to work towards more convictions.
“Policing in South Africa must now be taken to a higher level, we need to move beyond arrests. What will build confidence in the justice system is when police secure more convictions. To secure convictions, we would need better-trained investigators who present watertight cases in courts,” the minister said.
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