Parliament - A raft of legislative and policy reviews will be introduced over the next financial year to enhance the fight against crime, Police Minister Nathi Nhleko said on Monday.
Delivering his budget vote debate, Nhleko said the SAPS (SA Police Service) Act would be reviewed in a bid to “align it with the Constitution”.
Research would be done into how police could reduce “the barriers to the reporting of cases of violence against women and children, serial murders and rapes”.
A review on how community policing forums and community safety forums could help police in stabilising areas affected by service delivery protests would also be prioritised over the next few months.
Nhleko committed to demilitarising the police service in line with the National Development Plan.
A renewed focus would be placed on professionalising the service.
“As part of the process of professionalisation in the police service, we have approved changes to the recruitment strategy of entry-level constables with a view to ensure that only the best-suited candidates are recruited into the SAPS,” Nhleko said.
“All our new recruits will be taken through rigorous testing for their suitability before they start with their formal training.”
Police recruits will be thoroughly vetted, tested for physical fitness and behaviour patterns.
“These changes have been introduced as part of the Community Based Recruitment Strategy that is aimed at addressing challenges such as pending and/or previous convictions, fraudulent qualifications and to avoid nepotism in the recruitment of officers,” Nhleko said.
“In terms of this strategy, the role of the community in commenting on their suitability will also assist in completing the 360-degree cycle of suitability testing.”