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The Right and the Real: The South African Police Service’s (SAPS) Implementation of the 1998 Domestic Violence Act and the reintroduction of the Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Units. Lisa Vetten. Sources of information.

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Lisa vetten

The Right and the Real: The South African Police Service’s (SAPS) Implementation of the 1998 Domestic Violence Act and the reintroduction of the Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Units

Lisa Vetten


Sources of information
Sources of information

  • Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) or annual plan (where available),

  • Annual reports and performance reports

  • Minutes compiled by the Parliamentary Monitoring Group (PMG), departments’ presentations and replies to parliamentarians’ questions.

    • All 2008/09 to 2009/10.

  • Budget votes 2008/09 – 2010/11.

  • Requests for further information submitted in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000 (PAIA).

  • Analysed in terms of four themes: compliance with legislative mandate; budget; training; and access to justice


Saps commitment
SAPS commitment

  • VAW a policing priority since 1996 NCPS

  • Presidency’s MTSF for 2009 – 2014

  • JCPS priority

  • SAPS’ Annual Performance Plan 2008/09,

  • Strategic Plan 2010 – 2014

  • Budget votes 2008/09 to 2010/11 all state that crimes against women are a policing priority.


Saps legislative mandate
SAPS legislative mandate

  • Derives from DVA and SAPS National Instructions 7/1999.

  • Of two sorts: administrative and provision of services

  • Reporting misconduct to the ICD and instituting disciplinary proceedings

  • submit reports to Parliament every six months.

  • ICD: monitoring compliance with subsection (4)(a) of the DVA and the SAPS National Instructions; receiving complaints where the police have not complied with these obligations; making recommendations to the police around addressing such failures; and submitting 6-monthly reports to Parliament


Stations visited Period 100% compliant

  • 245 stations Jan – June 2006 2%

    Jul – Dec 2006 30%

  • 395 stations Jan – June 2007 57%

    Jul – Dec 2007 28%

  • 434 stations Jan – June 2008 14%

    Jul – Dec 2008 13%

  • 522 stations Jan – June 2009 11%

    July – Dec 2009 8%

    Consequences for Firearms Control Act, 2000


  • ICD reports for 2001 to 2008 collated 1 121 complaints

  • disciplinary action recommended in 928 (or 82.8%) complaints – instituted in 48 (5.1%) cases.

  • In more than two-thirds of cases (68.2%) either very little or no response to the ICD.

  • Police’s ability to disregard the ICD strengthened by the removal of the regulation obliging the station commissioner to provide reasons for rejecting ICD recommendations.



Women s access to justice
Women’s access to justice possible 20)

  • Reduce contact crimes by 4 – 7% annually

  • Confuses reporting to the police with a charge being laid; and incidence of a crime with its reporting rate

  • 1 January – 31 June 2007: 45 454 domestic violence incidents reported, 17 633 reports resulting in criminal charges.

  • Acornhoek: 942 complaints collected from hospital, courts and police station but only 63 resulted in charges

  • Rape: 1 in 9 cases reported (2002); 1 in 25 reported (Gauteng 2010)


Women s access to justice1
Women’s access to justice possible 20)

07/08 08/09 09/10

Booysens 318 187 (-70.1%) 190 (1.6%)

Dawn Park 128 252 (96.8%) 102 (-147.0%)

Hillbrow 713 521 (-36.8%) 233 (-123.6%)

Jhb Central 287 1 375 (379.0%) 249 (-452.2%)

Krugersdorp 251 655 (160.9%) 224 (-192.4%)

Sandton 64 142 (121.8%) 271 (90.8%)

Durban Central 279 1 091 (291.0%) 915 (-19.2%)

Margate 130 368 (183.0%) 88 (-318.1%)

Mount Road 323 798 (147.0%) 66 (-1 109.1%)


Fcs units
FCS Units possible 20)

  • Deadline of 1 April 2011 to be fully reconstituted

  • No SOA training reports submitted to parliament (or courses)

    • 2 491 CSC officers trained

    • 2 557 FCS and general detectives

  • 806 victim support rooms by 2009/10


Early anecdotal indications of challenges
Early anecdotal indications of challenges possible 20)

  • Human resourcing:

    • 60% of TCC patients between 2003 – 2006 and 58% in 2010 children. Where are the adult women being seen?

  • Need for resources to be allocated to the FCS units noted in SAPS Strategic Plan 2010 – 2014

  • Highlighted by two different reviews examining the impact of the redeployment of the FCS units eg. sexual assault evidence kits, as well as transporting victims (amongst other things). Budgets need to fall under the management of FCS units.

  • Experience? Knowledge?


Key recommendations
Key recommendations possible 20)

  • FCS Units can’t be sole solution to domestic violence - mandate: only investigate attempted murder and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm (GBH) and perpetrated within an intra-familial context. Breaches only investigated when part of assault GBH or attempted murder cases already being handled.


Recommendations money bills
Recommendations: Money Bills possible 20)

  • Police PC enquire into the extent of SAPS’ budgeting towards the DVA and SOA; and

  • Ask that SAPS reports, as a matter of course, on the full extent and use of donor funding to augment their activities.

  • play a strong role in assessing SAPS’ ENE, strategic priorities, measurable objectives, strategic plans and annual reports.

  • Ensure that legislated commitments form part of SAPS performance indicators.


Other
Other possible 20)

  • Engage critically with interpretations offered by SAPS of their particular statistics

  • Ensure that SAPS tables their training courses, accompanied by multi-year training plans (numbers and assessment methods)

  • Invite a diversity of NGOs to comment on and engage with all these processes

  • Collaborate with the WCPD PC around following up the recommendations from 2009 DVA hearings (tabled Oct. 2010)

  • Very carefully monitor the CSP irt to the DVA – follow the process of drafting regulations – CSP budget? Human resources? Oversight powers?


  • “[c] possible 20)ompliance with the Constitution requires not only that laws be enacted to give effect to the rights in the Constitution, but also requires that those laws be implemented. Failure to implement laws that protect constitutional rights is a violation of the Constitution.”

    (Director of Public Prosecutions, Transvaal v Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development and Others, 2009 (4) SA 222 (CC) at 201.)


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