_: The Detective Dialogue wanted to achieve three main objectives. It wanted to highlight the role of Detectives, secondly it wanted to identify the challenges faced by Detectives and thirdly wanted to identify possible solution to remedy the challenges in order to realise the ideal of a well trained, fully resourced and professional Detective Service.
The Detective Dialogue succeeded in these objectives. It provided a unique platform for all stakeholders to voice their concerns and propose possible solutions. A number of challenges were raised during the dialogue, which mainly centred on training, resources and professionalism.
A number of resolutions and recommendations were made.
The Detective Dialogue resolved that the South African Police Service (SAPS), Civilian Secretariat for Police and the Public Service Administration establish the actual number of detectives. A skills audit should be done based on this number to identify the training needs of detectives.
Furthermore, the ideal number for detectives must be established using scientific models appropriate to the South African context, under the leadership of the Civilian Secretariat for Police. A costed implementation plan with clear time frames must be presented to the Portfolio Committee on Police. Quality detectives require quality focussed recruitment criteria and assessment and must also be addressed in the policy.
The Detective Dialogue resolves that training on Crime Scene Management must form part of the Basic Training curriculum of the SAPS. Training on Crime Scene Management must be rolled out to all members of the SAPS. Furthermore, the SAPS must consider private partnerships for training, especially in specialised fields.
The Detective Dialogue established the urgent need for a joint meeting with all parliamentary committees and departments in the Justice Security and Crime Prevention (JSCP) Cluster. The purpose of this meeting will be to interrogate past and future spending regarding Criminal Justice System (CJS) and IJS ring-fenced funds as well as deliverables to date and future deliverables. We should be getting value for money spent at all levels of the JSCP cluster especially at station level.
The Detective Dialogue recommends that a defined career path and retention strategy must be developed for detectives and implemented as a matter of urgency. In addition, it is recommended that the promotion policy be addressed in the White Paper on Policing and form part of future legislation when the SAPS Amendment Bill is tabled before the National Assembly next year. Promotion must be linked to training, qualifications and experience and must be transparent to all members of the SAPS.
The SAPS management, in cooperation with a task team of the Detective services must revisit the Resource Allocation Guideline (RAG) to bring it in line with current needs at station level.
The Detective Dialogue clearly identified a lack of understanding within the SAPS in general and Detective services in particular regarding the concept of modernisation. The Dialogue resolved that the SAPS must look outside the Service for possible and already available technology solutions.
The Detective Dialogue acknowledges the need for increased specialised detectives for certain crimes such as sexual offences, crimes against women and children, the elderly, cyber crime and fraud. It is further recommended that the SAPS develop a clear strategy to train additional detectives at station level in these areas.
A key concern of the Dialogue was the lack of proper management at station, unit and branch level. This strengthens the dialogue’s call that all management appointments and promotions must be done on the basis of qualifications achieved.
The Dialogue recognises the demoralising effect on detectives and reiterates the importance of integrity management. The internal Anti-corruption strategy of SAPS must be intensified and a clear message sent and clear example made of zero tolerance for those guilty of corruption. Unions must play a leadership role in ensuring that their members understand the union’s commitment to zero tolerance towards corruption and individual responsibility.
The Dialogue acknowledges the challenges regarding the language barrier in taking statements and the affect this have on the quality of investigations and negative effect on the entire justice system. The Dialogue recommends that SAPS, in partnership with the CJS, must develop a workable and sustainable solution to address this challenge. A possible solution could be the development of a translation call-centre where detectives and ordinary members can phone into to get statements translated as they happen.
The Portfolio Committee on Police will elevate its report to the level of the Minister of Police. The detective environment together with the Civilian Secretariat of the Police must develop a comprehensive response to these and other challenges. The programme must be driven by the Ministry and not the left to the management of the SAPS where it runs the risk of being placed on the back burner in the light of the many other challenges and priorities. A costed implementation plan with clear time line must be presented to the Portfolio Committee on Police.