Improving the impact of South African specialised law enforcement oversight agencies

Joint research by APCOF and Africa Criminal Justice Reform (ACJR) investigated the structural and functional challenges of the two primary law enforcement oversight agencies – the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (JICS) and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) – within the broader rubric of challenges in ensuring effective accountability for rights violations allegedly committed by police and correctional services officials. The second phase of the project addressed some of the capacity deficits identified through a peer learning process between IPID, JICS, the National Assembly’s Portfolio Committees on Police and Corrections, and key UK oversight agencies, namely the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons for England and Wales, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman, and the Attorney General.

Operationalisation of the Sierra Leone Independent Police Complaints Board

APCOF supported the operationalisation of the Sierra Leone Independent Police Complaints Board (IPCB) through:

  • An audit of police complaints in Sierra Leone.
  • Development of internal standard operating procedures for investigations, complaints handling and research.
  • The development of indicators and measures to be used to assess the performance across the IPCB mandate.
  • An internal and external communication strategy disaggregated to key audiences including the police, civil society, and parliament.
  • A work study to assist the IPCB to identify staffing and resource needs.
  • Board procedures and a staff manual.
  • A multi-agency training manual on the role and function of the IPCB.
  • A website for the IPCB.
Policing assemblies

In 2017 APCOF provided technical support to the ACHPR in the development of The Guidelines for the Policing of Assemblies by Law Enforcement Officials in Africa, which were adopted by the Commission on 23 February 2017. Subsequently APCOF has been providing technical support in its implementation.

This support has included collaboration with the East African Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (EAPCCO) to develop a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on public order management. This initiative updates and extends the current East African Community (EAC) SOP to include the non-EAC countries of Sudan, Southern Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Comoros and Seychelles, and was approved by EAPCCO in 2016.

Guidelines on Arrest Conditions of Police Custody and Pre Trial Detention in Africa

During its 55th Ordinary Session in Luanda, Angola, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) adopted the Guidelines on the Conditions of Arrest, Police Custody and Pre-Trial Detention in Africa (the Luanda Guidelines). APCOF led the provision of technical assistance to Commissioner Med S.K. Kaggwa, then-Special Rapportuer on Prisons, Conditions of Detention and Policing in Africa in the drafting and consultation of the Guidelines. To support the implementation of the Guidelines, APCOF undertook baseline studies in several countries including Tunisia, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana and South Africa to develop plans of action while continuing to provide support and training.

Smart Policing

APCOF, in partnership with the Igarapé Institute in Brazil, piloted the Smart Policing Project. The initiative harnessed the potential of smartphones used by police and other public safety personnel together with an open source Android application to promote accountable, proactive and safer law enforcement in low and middle-income settings. The application allowed for real time recording and streaming of video and audio content to a server, and analytics interface software monitored by senior officers. The Smart Policing Project’s main objectives were to increase oversight over users of the application; enhance police-community relations; and reduce the incidence of excessive use of force by officers against citizens. The application was piloted by the Western Cape Provincial Traffic Department and the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department in South Africa, among others.

Common Standards for Policing in East Africa

APCOF collaborated with the East African Community (EAC) and the East African Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (EAPCCO) to develop a training manual for police officers in the EAC. The training manual focuses focus key aspects of police work and draw on the EAC’s Common Standards on Policing.

The training manual continues a collaboration between APCOF and the EAC dating back to 2007 when APCOF and the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative worked with the EAC and EAPCCO to develop the Common Standards for Policing in the region, which were followed by the development of model standard operating procedures for arrest and detention, stop and search, use of force and public order management.

Investigator training

APCOF developed a course in basic investigation skills for the police oversight practitioners and trained staff from institutions across 6 countries, including Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, South Africa and Nigeria.

This training is available on request and is focused on imparting both knowledge and skills, taught in a 5-day residential format. The training is designed to be experiential in nature, offering participants the opportunity to practice learned skills through role-plays and case studies. The training manual includes a trainer’s manual as well as a resource pack consisting of relevant policy documents as well as a CD with selected literature on the subject.

Promoting implementation of the SARPCCO Code of Conduct for Police Officials

APCOF develop a comprehensive set of measures and indicators for each article of the Southern African Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (SARPCCO) Code of Conduct. The indicators were then tested in an assessment of performance by each of the SARPCCO’s members against the Code of Conduct. The initiative was taken on the 10th anniversary of the Code’s adoption as an effort to raise awareness and deepen implementation.

Improved border security and management in Kenya

APCOF collaborated with the Danish Demining Group (DDG) to provide a train-the trainer course for Kenyan officials on rights-based policing, utilising the East African Police Commissioners Cooperation Organisation’s (EAPCCO) Training Manual. A five-day train-the-trainer session was presented by APCOF at the campus of the Kenya School of Government in Nairobi for members of the Kenya National Police Service (NPS) drawn from the NPS, Criminal Investigations Department, Administrative Police and General Service Unit.

Combatting and preventing torture - the Article 5 Initiative

The Article 5 Initiative was a partnership between the University of Cape Town’s Gender, Health and Justice Research Unit, the University of the Western Cape’s Dullah Omar Institute, the University of Bristol’s Human Rights Implementation Centre and APCOF. The A5I worked in Burundi, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda to promote domestic compliance with international law obligations, norms and procedures under the United Nations Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT) and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR). The A5I developed Domestication and Implementation Packages (DIPs), comprised of practical guidelines to prevent and eradicating torture and other ill treatment in Africa through implementation of the UNCAT.

Stabilisation dialogues

APCOF collaborated with the Igarapé Institute (Brazil), Fundación Ideas Para la Paz (Colombia), and Instituto para la Seguridad y la Democracia (INSYDE, based in Mexico) to conceptualise a south-south series of dialogues on communities and safety. Commissioned papers were presented at each discussion and published in Stability: International Journal of Security and Development.

Supporting the implementation of the AU Security Sector Reform Policy Framework

APCOF collaborated with the African Security Sector Network to develop Operational Guidance Notes to promote implementation of the African Union’s Security Sector Reform Framework. Specifically, APCOF authored the Guidance Note on developing and implementing codes of conduct for African security sector institution.

Strengthening community participation in local safety planning (2018)

APCOF, with support from the South African-German initiative “Inclusive Violence and Crime Prevention for Safe Public Spaces” (VCP) programme, designed and conducted a train-the-trainer course on participatory community safety planning with twenty-five provincial and local government officials from selected municipalities in both Gauteng and the Eastern Cape provinces. The training built knowledge in crime and violence prevention theory and practice along with capacity in facilitating community participation. Community safety plans for five local municipalities were developed and incorporated into their Integrated Development Plans (IDP).

As part of the initiative, APCOF provided technical support to develop a ‘Guidebook on Developing Municipal Safety Plans’ to provide simple instructions on how to facilitate community participation in developing evidence-based safety plans and how to integrate safety concerns into IDP processes, along with reference to other supplementary learning materials and tools.

Sustainable Development Goal 16

APCOF was retained as a consultant for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to strengthen participation by civil society in monitoring implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 in South Africa. Goal 16 is the centrepiece of the SDGs approach to peace, justice and security, and is a new thematic area within the global development agenda. South Africa is one of seven countries selected by UNDP to receive support in establishing mechanisms to ensure effective, efficient and inclusive monitoring and reporting on domestication of Goal 16.

APCOF supported the development of inclusive and participatory methodologies that encourage participation by both government and civil society in SDG monitoring processes. Involving civil society in the collection, tracking and validating of SDG-related data is critical to monitoring domestication of Goal 16 in order to ensure that progress towards Goal 16 is reported in a multi-dimensional, comprehensive and locally-relevant manner.

White Paper of Safety and Security

APCOF provide technical support to the Civilian Secretariat of Police in the development of South Africa’s White Paper on Safety and Security 2016, which promotes an integrated and developmental approach to crime and violence prevention.

Promoting Community Safety In Namibia

APCOF provide technical support to the Urban Trust of Namibia to develop a community led safety project in Namibia. The project also developed and facilitated a national conference to promote advocacy for the development of a policy on crime and violence prevention for Namibia