Strengthening police accountability and access to justice in Somalia

APCOF partners with the Danish Demining Group (DDG) in a Department for International Development (DFID) funded initiative to facilitate a more community-focused, effective and accountable police architecture in Somalia. The project entails the development and delivery of police training materials for, and capacity building of, the Somali Federal Police and members states of Hirshabeelle, Jubaland and South West State in policing and human rights.

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.

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 ACHPR at its 21st Extraordinary Session in February 2017. Subsequently, APCOF has been providing technical support for the implementation of the Guidelines and, most recently, has been working with the Malawi Police Force to revise their Policy and Operational Guidelines on the Use of Force and Policing Assemblies to align them with the ACHPR Guidelines.

Read the Guidelines:

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.

APCOF continues to support the application of the Guidelines by offering technical support to AU member states. This support includes training and, in 2018 APCOF, trained members of the Tanzanian Police Force, Prison Service, and Immigration Service in Mwanza, as well as offering a train-the-trainer to the police component of the East Africa Standby Force in Nairobi, Kenya.

Read Guidelines on Arrest pre-trial detention and conditions of police custody in Africa

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

Strengthening oversight and combating impunity in extra judicial killings in Kenya

APCOF, in partnership with the Danish Institute for Human Rights, the Centre for Human Rights and Policy Studies (CHRIPS), the Independent Policing Oversight Authority of Kenya (IPOA), and the University of Pretoria is working to develop the capacity of IPOA by augmenting its current resources and procedures in alignment with the newly adopted Minnesota Protocol on the Investigation of Potentially Unlawful Deaths. The project is supported by the European Union As part of the project, a weeklong induction programme was designed and presented in partnership with the University of Nairobi to the new IPOA board. This marks a first important step towards institutionalising project knowledge with institutions of higher learning in Kenya to build capacity in a sustainable way.

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Supporting the establishment of independent police custody monitoring in South Africa

This project, supported by the European Union, promotes the implementation in South Africa of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) Guidelines on the Conditions of Arrest, Police Custody and Pre-Trial Detention in Africa (the Luanda Guidelines) and ratification of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) through the establishment of a system for the regular and independent monitoring of detention facilities under the management of the South African Police Service (SAPS). APCOF’s work to date on promoting implementation of the Luanda Guidelines in South Africa has revealed that despite relatively robust accountability architecture for policing in the country, one clear deficit is the absence of regular police cell monitoring. This project builds on APCOF’s existing strategy and program of work to promote the Luanda Guidelines across Africa, and builds on previous police accountability activities, such as the implementation of the Convention Against Torture.

The project will be undertaken in several phases. Phase one included the comprehensive modelling of a system for the regular and independent statutory and civilian monitoring of police cells. The draft study was presented and discussed in a multi stakeholder workshop and now informs piloting and rollout of a system.

Phases two and three involved the development of implementation tools including (a) monitoring tools (b) protocols on access and reporting; (c) training for independent visitors and (d) securing agreement with partners at the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and SAPS on key capacity development needs for a successful system of independent police cell monitoring and pilots the action at identified police stations.

Phase four will assess the piloting of independent police station visits and provide the opportunity to fine tune methodology and training.

The fifth and final phase will be the roll out of independent system for police station monitoring. The project will aim to initiate the visitors schemes in 25 % of South African Police stations across the country.

Review the tools developed from this project:

Model police law for Africa

APCOF, provided technical support to the Pan African Parliament (PAP) to develop and pass a model law for policing in Africa. 

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Developing a universal protocol on interviews

In October 2016, the then United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Juan E. Mendez, presented his thematic report to General Assembly calling for the development of a universal protocol on investigative interviewing and attendant legal safeguards. Around the same time, Human Rights Council Resolution 31/31 called for the implementation of safeguards to prevent torture during police custody and pre-trial detention.

APCOF served as a member of both the steering committee and legal drafting sub-committee to develop an international protocol on the investigative interviewing of suspects and accused persons.

In addition, APCOF has provided technical support to the East African Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (EAPCCO) to develop the Model Standard Operating Procedure on Police Interviews and is collaborating with both EAPCCO and the Kenyan National Police service to support the implementation of  the procedures

COVID 19 Justice Project

APCOF and Fair Trials, a UK-based partner, participated  a global coalition to expose, resist and roll back on the mission-creep, normalisation and legitimisation of extraordinary law enforcement powers introduced in the name of public health protection and COVID-19 prevention.

The project supported:

  1. National efforts in target countries;
  2. Strengthening regional and international civil society collaboration to draw together global expertise, and identify common threats and good practices;
  3. Facilitating concerted and sustained advocacy at regional level, through the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) ordinary sessions;
  4. Developing a framework of agreed standards and guidelines to inform future emergency responses; and
  5. Informing the public narrative, and enhancing public’s knowledge and understanding, on the expansion and abuse of extraordinary law enforcement powers, and their impact on the exercise of fundamental human rights and freedoms.

Read the study on pandemic policing and hyper link the study:

Democratic Policing Indicators

APCOF has been funded to work together with the Afro-Asia Association for Justice Development (AAAJD) to develop a framework of indicators and measures for democratic policing. The indicators will be designed in a manner that will allow them to be adapted at local and station level to guide and affirm the positive relationships sought between communities and the police.

Read the study on the application in Mitchells Plain:

Precinct management support

This project was supported by the GIZ through its Inclusive Violence and Crime Prevention (VCP) programme. APCOF, together with Fixed South Africa, developed a guide for promoting safety planning at precinct level. The project included support for precinct safety planning in two localities in partnership with the South African Treasury’s Neighbourhood Development Partnership Programme.

Decriminalisation of Poverty and Status

APCOF, with support from the Open Society Foundation’s provides technical assistance to the ACHPR for the development of the Principles on the Decriminalisation of poverty and status in Africa. The Principles were formally launched by the ACHPR on 25 October 2018 in Banjul, Gambia, with APCOF represented on the launch panel to provide an input on behalf of civil society partners.

In partnership with a continental wide campaign, APCOF is now working to support implementation of the Principles across Africa. In this regard, APCOF is supporting the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI) as a technical partner in a project aimed at enhancing the role of African national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in the decriminalisation of petty offences in Africa. This supports includes the development of tools for NHRIs, including a simplified version of the Principles, an implementation scorecard, and advocacy materials. APCOF is also conducting research on by-laws that should be targeted for declassification and decriminalisation in South Africa.

Read the Principles on the Decriminalization of petty offences:

SADC Guidelines on Crime and Violence

APCOF, with support from Open Society Foundation for Southern Africa (OSISA) provided technical support to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to develop Guidelines on Crime and Violence Prevention. The Guidelines were adopted in July 2018. APCOF further supported  SADC and partners from civil society to develop a supporting guidance note and indicators to assist implementation of the Guidelines across the region.

Read Guidelines on crime and violence prevention:

Strengthening community participation on local safety planning

This project supported by the GIZ funded “Inclusive Violence and Crime Prevention for Safe Public Spaces” (VCP) programme, supported local municipalities, provincial departments and South African Local Government Association (SALGA) to build a competent and coordinated provincial to local government capacity within the crime and violence prevention space.

The project also  strengthened practitioners’ knowledge of community safety and violence prevention concepts and approaches in order for them to lead the implementation of the White Paper on Safety and Security of 2016 and the respective provincial and local safety strategies. Importantly, the project built skills to  enhance the mainstreaming of social crime prevention into Integrated Development Plans (IDPs).

Sustainable Development Goal 16

APCOF provided technical skills to promote a comprehensive monitoring and reporting by South Africa of its progress towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 16. This included serving as a member of a Statistics South Africa convened thematic group on Governance, Justice and Peace (Goal 16), comprised of government departments and civil society partners, to review and make recommendations on the indicators and data sets relevant to South Africa’s reporting under Goal 16.

Policing the urban periphery

APCOF partnered with the Ford Foundation, through the Institute of International Education (IIE), to develop and present new practical knowledge on policing in a book length collection of reviewed chapters on policing.

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