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Professional Policing campaign

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Professional Policing campaign

Gareth Newham, from the ISS, speaks about the Professional Policing campaign. Camera: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Darlene Creamer (2011/09/07)

8th September 2011

By: Creamer Media Reporter

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The South African public has been called on to actively promote professional policing by engaging in a new campaign to "reward a cop, report a cop."

The nationwide initiative was launched on September 1 in Johannesburg by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in order to combat police misconduct, including corruption, and to support honest, hard working police officers in South Africa. It aims to mobilise civilians to become more active in reporting good and bad police behaviour in order to help shape a culture of police excellence. The foundation of the drive to "Promote Professional Policing" is based on years of research by the ISS Crime & Justice Programme (CJP) into the causes and dynamics of police corruption in South Africa.

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The CJP undertakes research and analysis on crime, criminal justice and crime prevention in South Africa. Various research studies consistently show that many people have a negative view of the country`s various police agencies, believing them to be lazy, corrupt or even criminal. Head of the CJP, Gareth Newham, says, "Whilst there is no denying that some deserve that label, many police men and women want nothing more than to serve the public with pride. Every South African should endeavour to give recognition and support to those police officers who do their work with respect, courage and dignity."

Research by the ISS reveals that police officials often feel isolated from the public due predominantly to a lack of trust and support. Newham adds, "Visible public support will strengthen the individual position of good police officers within the SAPS and surrounding communities which will, in turn, assist in isolating those officers involved in corruption and misconduct."

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Sending a special message in support of the campaign was Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa who says, “In addition to its encouragement amongst the South African public to promote professional policing, this campaign is exciting because it educates the country about the role of the police and what can and should be expected from our police service. We pledge to help promote this important initiative.”

Major General Monyepao from the South African Police Service commented in his presentation that: “While SAPS does have an integrity management framework in place with national and provincial ethics officers, this is the type of opportunity that will support ethical policing if we all join hands and fight the scourge of corruption.”

South Africans can help shape a police culture of excellence in various ways. "Civilians should recognise good police service by showing gratitude publicly and to the relevant station commanders. Bad police must be reported through the formal channels that exist. Its easier than most people think," concludes Newham. As part of this campaign, the following communication channels are available with tips and information on how South Africans can "reward a cop, report a cop."

Visit the Crime Hub on www.issafrica.org/crimehub for information about promoting professional policing. Tips will be posted on how to reward good police service and what to do as a victim of corruption.

`Like` the Facebook page to be part of a community forum to read and share stories and recent experiences of police service, good or bad. Information will be provided on how to become more active in communities and to support local police.

Follow Twitter @RewardaCop for the latest news on policing and crime with a focus on stories of excellent police service and cases of corruption.

For more information:

* Gareth Newham, Institute for Security Studies, Crime & Justice Programme, on 082 887 1557 or gnewham@issafrica.org

* Andrew Faull, Institute for Security Studies, Crime & Justice Programme, on 072 597 5869 or afaull@issafrica.org

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