South African Police Service Act: Interim Regulations: Community Police Forums and Boards
What is a Community Police Forum?
A Community Police Forum (CPF) is a forum, which consists of organisations and institutions. For example,
- Youth groups,
- Ratepayers’ associations,
- Civic organizations and
- Businesses can become members of the Forum.
What is the Purpose of a Community Police Forum?
It is to establish and maintain a safe and secure environment for its citizens. Organisations who want to make the community safe are welcome to join a CPF. A CPF is a structure that establishes a partnership between the community and the police.
Does the Community Police Forum have a Constitution?
Each Community Police Forum has its own constitution. The constitution explains how the Forum works and an Executive Committee (ExCo) is elected. The ExCo plays an important part in ensuring that the CPF works and its aims are achieved.
Does a Community Police Forum have any stature with National Government?
According to the National Constitution, each police station should have a Community Police Forum.
What are the aims of the Community Police Forum
By law, a Community Police Forum must have specific aims. Section 18 of the SAPS Act No. 68 of I995 tells us what these aims are. A Forum can also add more aims if its members agree to it. All the aims must be in the constitution of the Forum so that everybody can see them. For example, in Section 3 of the Sample Constitution for CPF we suggest that a Forum has to:
- help the police service and the local community to work together;
- make the police and the community partners against crime;
- identify and solve problems to do with crime, disorder, fears and poor service by the police;
- improve communication and relations between the police and the community;
- find ways to make the police service transparent and accountable;
- encourage the media to be fair when they tell people about police actions;
- promote respect for human rights;
- work together with other institutions in the local community;
- track the police service, including complaints, charges, visits to cells and patrolling
- help different cultural groups to understand each other;
- act in a mature and polite way when working with the police.