CPF members must abide by a code of conduct
15 June 2011 | Riaan Engelbrecht
In light of the recent arrest of Herman Heunis, chairperson of the Brakpan/Boksburg Community Policing Forum Cluster, the Boksburg North SAPS reminds the community that the CPF must adhere to a code of conduct and have to abide by regulations in accordance with their functions.
According to Const Cathy Meyer, of the Boksburg North SAPS, it is essential for the public to be aware of the code of conduct in regard to the community's involvement in fighting crime.
"Chapter 7, Section 18 to 23 of the South African Police Service Act 68 refers to the objects of community policing forums and boards, their establishment and procedures to be followed by these bodies.
"It focuses on establishing and maintaining a partnership between the community and the SAPS, promoting communication and co-operation between the two components and improving transparency and service delivery in the SAPS."
According to Meyer, the rules and regulations of this chapter stipulate that no patroller or CPF member may conduct any stop and search action unless under the direct supervision, command and control of a police officer present during an operation executed.
According to the code of conduct, members of the CPF shall not abuse their positions to bring the CPF and its sub structures into disrepute.
Any member who contravenes the code of conduct, CPF Constitution or directives can also be dealt with in accordance with the disciplinary process and may be suspended pending a disciplinary hearing.
Other important regulations (revised) when it comes to the duties of the CPF member are as follows:
- Carry out observations in the area of deployment.
- Refer victims of crime.
- Report criminal activities.
- Work closely with local police, particularly the relevant sector team.
- Advise on home safety, assist with crime prevention and reduction of opportunities of crime.
- Serve as a source of information for the law enforcement agencies.
- Contribute in conflict resolution.
- Being only the eyes and the ears o the police.
- who commits or attempts to commit in his presence [the one making the arrest] or whom he reasonably suspects of having committed an offence referred to in Schedule 1;
- whom he reasonably believes to have committed any offence and to be escaping from and to be freshly pursued by a person whom such private person reasonably believes to have authority to arrest that person for that offence;
- whom he is by any law authorised to arrest without warrant in respect of any offence specified in that law;
- whom he sees engaged in an affray.
- Any private person who may without warrant arrest any person may forthwith pursue that person, and any other private person to whom the purpose of the pursuit has been made known, may join and assist therein.
- The owner, lawful occupier or person in charge of property on or in respect of which any person is found committing any offence, and any person authorised thereto by such owner, occupier or person in charge, may without warrant arrest the person so found.
- Members must not use any abusive language or make sexist or racist remarks.
- Members of the SAPS working with the CPF shall behave and act in a manner that promotes community police relations and, if such members are expected to carry out duties which will enable the CPF to perform its function, do so without fail.
- Members of the CPF must declare any conflict of interest and not participate in matters where there is a conflict of interest.
- Members must behave in a diplomatic, professional, controlled and dignified manner when dealing with each other and with the general public.
- CPF members and members of the service shall not be actively involved in matters whilst under the influence of liquor, drugs and all other illegal, intoxicating substances.
When it comes to an arrest by a private person without a warrant, the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 provides key guidelines.
Any private person may, without warrant, arrest any person under the following circumstances: Anyone
According to the code of conduct (revised), when it comes to the CPF, the following applies:
- Members of the CPF and its structures shall not promote any party politics when dealing with CPF matters.