ATC170913 : Portfolio Committee on Police Report of International Study Tour to the United Kingdom on 18-31 March 2017, dated 13 September 2017
Portfolio Committee on Police Report of International Study Tour to the United Kingdom on 18-31 March 2017, dated 13 September 2017
The Portfolio Committee on Police embarked on an international study tour to the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland from 18-31 March 2017. The Committee was interested in observing and understanding policing issues, specifically in terms of police reform and transformation, management/leadership, public order policing and the application of technology in day-to-day policing and evidence collection, storage and transfer within the criminal justice system. The visit to Northern Ireland took place from 19-23 March 2017.
Of particular interest was the question of oversight of policing and police complaints monitoring. The Committee planned to meet with the relevant government policing bodies in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland responsible for public order policing and police oversight. Though the aim was to reflect, share perspectives and draw some context-sensitive lessons on a number of cross-cutting policing issues, a particular focus was placed on observing practices in the selected countries on issues of public order policing and police oversight. It was hoped that the study tour would assist the Committee in preparing for the review of the South African Police Service Act. In addition, the Committee was aware of the imperatives of the National Development Plan (NDP) and the objective of professionalising the SAPS.
2. Purpose of the oversight visit
The purpose of the oversight visits was to:
- To study internal management structures of police services in the selected countries so as to identify innovative policy approaches of dealing with police misconduct and of harnessing efforts aimed at professionalising the police
- To learn how to deal with situations where internal systems of review are conspicuously poor or absent, where there are clear and widespread abuses by police, or where police organizations are very poorly managed and organized, more especially in countries that have undergone political transitions such as Northern Ireland and South Africa, which have historically lacked accountability.
- To explore the range of police oversight operations and identify those most conducive in facilitating and harnessing improved, demilitarised and professional policing envisioned in the NDP.
- To identify international best practices in police oversight based on those that best combine independence for policing operational functions and appropriate accountability, transparency and oversight of executive decision-making.
- To draw some lessons on proactive approaches and more appropriate response mechanisms for dealing with the issue of police misconduct as broadly defined.
- To gather some useful policy discernments on how the Committee, as it processes different pieces of legislation during the 5th Parliament, can be repositioned to play a more value-adding role in realisation of the national imperatives (such as crime and corruption eradication).
- To draw some lessons on how the Committee can churn-out new policing policy ideas so that the Parliament can channel societal dynamism into desirable developmental outcomes.
- To learn from experiences of other countries on how they deal and find solutions to multifaceted and broader policing and criminal justice challenges.
The delegation comprised of the following members and staff:
Name of Member
Beukman, Mr F (Chairperson)
Mabija, Ms L
Maake, Mr J
Mmola, Ms M
Mbhele, Mr Z
Mhlongo, Mr P
Groenewald, Mr P
Ms B Mbengo
Mr I Kinnes
Committee Content Adviser
3. Northern Ireland
The Committee was welcomed to the Stormont, seat of the Northern Ireland Parliament by Ms Debbie Sweeney of the International Relations Visits Office for the Executive Office of Parliament. The Committee met with Ms Christine Darrah, Justice Committee Clerk who briefed the Committee on the workings of the Justice Committee that had responsibility for accountability arrangements for policing in Northern Ireland. The Portfolio Committee on Police was informed that in view of the negotiations to reconstitute the Northern Ireland Assembly, it was not possible to meet with the members of the Justice Committee as they were involved in negotiations and bilateral meetings to extend the Good Friday Agreement of 1998.
3.2 The Justice Portfolio Committee
The Justice Portfolio Committee was one of nine statutory committees in the Northern Ireland Assembly and was comprised of 11 members in which six political parties were represented. The Democratic Unionist Party was the biggest party followed by Sinn Fein. The Justice Committee meets weekly and has an agenda of about 15 items. They have responsibility for scrutiny of departmental budgets, Annual Plans and strategic plans.
The Committee is established in terms of section 441 of the Northern Ireland Act and can call persons to appear before it as well as for papers. It cannot call for papers of other departments and for such departments to appear before it. The Justice Committee can initiate inquiries and make reports, including recommendations to the Minister of Home Affairs before the final budget is agreed. It plays a role in policy and development. The Minister is required to bring any policy changes to the Committee and must take any recommendations to the Assembly. There has to be agreement by consensus in Committee which is voted for in the Assembly. The Justice Committee is also empowered to initiate legislation on any matter that falls within its scope.
The Justice Portfolio Committee which oversees the budget of policing allocates 66% of its total budget to policing and they look at the budget in strategic terms. They are responsible for the development of policy and legislation; scrutiny of an accountability framework; the scrutiny of the budget; scrutiny of any issues that damages the public confidence in policing and plays a strategic role linked to that of the Minister.
Significantly, the Justice Portfolio Committee holds informal meetings with policing and other lobby groups, commissions research and conducts oversight visits. They also hold regular conferences on cyber-crime and other topics such as human trafficking. The Policing Board was formed before the Justice Committee and there was no devolution until 2010, after the Good Friday agreement. It was pointed out that not all the work of the Policing Board have to be ratified and if there are changes to legislation, then the Minister of Justice will bring it back to the Justice Committee, who will write to the Policing Board for comments. Generally, there are not lots of policy changes with respect to policing.
3.3 Northern Ireland Policing Board
The Committee visited the Northern Ireland Police Board (NIPB) which was established in 2001 to discuss its role in managing the oversight of policing in Northern Ireland. The NI Police Board is an independent policing body which consists of 19 members. The members are made up of 10 members chosen by the Legislative Assembly and 9 independent members appointed by the Minister of Justice. Members of the Justice Committee which oversees policing cannot be members of the Policing Board. The Policing Board makes provision for effective, efficient and accountable policing in Northern Ireland. The Policing Board holds the Chief Constable to account and develops the Annual Policing Plan and then monitors performance of the police against the set targets.
The Board is responsible for setting priorities for policing in Northern Ireland, appointing the Chief Constable Chief Constable, Deputy Chief Constable, Assistant Chief Constables and senior civilian staff. The Board has the powers to dismiss the Chief Constable or his deputy and sets targets for policing. They monitor the police against those targets, publish a three-year policing plan and consult widely with communities on the type of policing services they receive. The Board oversees complaints against senior officers and has the power to discipline senior officers.
There are a different range of actors who all play an oversight role over policing in Northern Ireland.
While the Chief Constable of the Police Service for Northern Ireland (PSNI) has responsibility for the day to day operations of the police, he also acts as the accounting officer for policing. He is however accountable to the Policing Board for operational decisions. The Police Ombudsman is responsible for independent complaints investigations against the police officers who transgress police policy and make themselves guilty of criminality. The ombudsman also makes policy recommendations on policing and is accountable to the Northern Ireland Assembly through the Minister of Justice.
3.4 The selection process for members of the Police Board
The members of the Board are comprised of nineteen members of which ten are political party appointed members and nine are appointed by the Minister of Justice. Political parties choose their own members and a public participation process is used to select the nine independent members who are from civil society institutions and members of the public. The public is invited to make comments and representations in the process on all the candidates. The public is invited to attend and participate in monthly meetings of the Board where the Chief Constable reports on a monthly basis.
The Justice Committee technically has the powers to remove the Chief Constable but rarely do, as it requires political agreement of all the parties. The Private Secretary in the Office of the Minister for Justice is responsible for oversight and the Chief Constable appoints an accounting officer for finances while the Private Secretary is the accounting officer for the Department.
The Private Secretary is responsible for oversight and each part of the Criminal Justice System has an accounting officer. There are procedures in place for handling complaints.
3.5 The Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland
The meeting with the Police Ombudsman (PO) for Northern Ireland proved to be very useful for members of the Committee as it brought the issue of oversight and management of complaints against the police into sharp focus. Dr Michael Maguire was appointed as Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland in July 2002. It emerged that prior to the Good Friday Agreement, there were over 3000 deaths and over 100 000 injuries as a result of police actions. In view of policing being a contested space, there were changes in respect of the criminal justice system and a review process was put in place to establish the Criminal Justice System bodies.
After the Patten Report, there was a move away from security policing and the name was changed from the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) to the PSNI. The operational changes required a more robust approach to dealing with police complaints. The emphasis on the body investigating police complaints was that it should have independence and be free from political influence. The Ombudsman’s office was established in 2000 to investigate complaints against the police and the community (and the police) needed to have confidence in the office. It required that the Police Ombudsman need to have control over their own budgets, staff and structures and complaints. The types of complaints that the Police Ombudsman deals with includes incivility, minor assaults etc. There is a 75% chance that complaints generated in Wales and England being investigated by the Police, while in Northern Ireland, it is dealt with by the PO.
The PO can investigate without a formal complainant in the public interest to examine criminality and misconduct. They prepare dockets for the attention of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). Most of the misconduct complaints are dealt with through recommendations to the police to address performance issues. The PO also has the powers to do covert investigations in matters that require such methods. There are normally a range of disciplinary sanctions available, but there can also be direct hearings.
All the cases and their outcomes are published on the PO website. It is significant that what is known as “Legacy cases” arising from complaints against the police since 1998 comprise a significant number of cases. There are over 400 cases which are under a year old and mostly involve deaths. There is also a mix of high profile cases reported and the PO is critical of the police with high risk allegations. The Office of the PO receive about 3000 complaints per annum and they investigate about 1200 cases. They substantiated between 25-28% of the cases and use informal resolution at the lower end of the spectrum through using mediation processes. The PO works with a public manifestation of independence of the office and that is reflected in everything they do.
The PO is appointed on a seven year fixed term contract and appointed by the First Minister and the deputy First Minister after a recommendation to the Queen. In view of this, it considered a Crown appointment and it is difficult for politicians to unduly influence or get rid of the PO for this reason.
The Department of Justice is the accounting officer of the PO and the Department has no influence in the operational affairs and decisions of the PO using the avoidance of doubt principle. The PO can appear before the Justice Committee who can ask questions, but it too, cannot influence the casework of the PO.
The final decision on cases rests with the PO and the decisions of the PO is subject to judicial review. If there are maladministration complaints against the PO, then the Department of Justice can investigate. There is also an internal Audit and Risk Committee which checks that there is compliance with all regulations and that all risks are identified and mitigated.
Initially the office of the PO was dependent on former police officers for investigations and now through mentoring, there are only 15-20% of the investigative staff who are former police officers. All staff are trained in investigations and they each carry a caseload of about 30 case dockets. They only use experienced detectives on legacy matters, but noted that the mix of former police officers and civilians is important.
As far as the staffing of the PO is concerned, the office has embedded a human resources approach which makes sure that the PO office is well respected in both Catholic and Protestant communities. This is done through regular awareness raising campaigns and outreach work within both communities. The office is also monitored with respect to representivity.
As far as backlogs are concerned, the office deal with backlogs within 90 days, but some of the more serious cases can take up to three years to finalise. Most police officers wear body- worn cameras and the footage is sealed if there is a complaint. Most of the cases are sifted through for seriousness and proportionality and there is always an attempt to reduce the bureaucracy in dealing with the cases. All employees of the PO office have performance plans and must adhere to a code of conduct. The PO office do not handle complaints from police officers, only members of the public. Quality assurance in investigations is an important issue and investigating officers report to an internal quality assurance board on volumes of caseloads, performance and investigations.
Importantly, there has been no political interference from politicians in the work or investigations of the PO. The PO indicated that if there were the slightest hint that politicians attempted to interfere, that he would resign.
3.6 Police Service of Northern Ireland Training College
Members of the delegation visited the PSNI Training College to understand the contents of the training modules offered to new recruits to the PSNI. The PSNI Training College is accountable to the Policing Board for professionalism and to meet training standards. The college works with partners through the District Policing Command and operates in six different sites. The student officer training programme is based in Garnerville and the training areas include learning support as well as the actual training. Learner support is undertaken in the districts and trainers also work in the local areas to provide support to trainees and newly qualified police officers.
Quality assurance is embedded throughout all the training modules and the police library provide learning technologies for distance learning. The training modules include human rights training which is provided by an Internal Human Rights Training Advisor. Training is also provided through the HYDRA suite immersive learning which provides for simulated learning and allows trainees to make decisions in live situations. The course is a 23 week learning exercise and the first four weeks provides for the training to be residential (although optional).
As far as intake of new students are concerned, the College has an intake of 51 new student officers who join every five weeks. New applicants are assessed and have to undergo formal examinations. The training course is accredited through the University of Ulster. Combined operational training includes public order policing, search and seizures, medical aid, first-aid, firearms handling and management, driver and traffic training, using water cannons, dog training and dog handler training. Leadership and investigative training is provided by the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA). A process of 360-degree feedback is provided to learners and the training programme is nationally accredited. Trainees are also provided with courses in mental toughness and recording of crime and investigative training.
The trainee only interface with the station s/he is to be placed at during the first week of training and they meet the team they will be working with as well as the community. They are usually given a problem solving exercise at the station, particular to that station.
If a student constable fails probation, they can retake their exams or retake the course from scratch. Dismissal is the last option and the systems are geared to support the trainee constable to succeed. Stage two of the training kicks in after 2 years, when the trainee constable can function as a probationer and in the next two years, they are allocated to police stations and can return to the college for a week of e-crime training.
Most station commanders are also selected after undergoing specialised training and after having served for a few years. After basic training, an officer must go on probation for two years and mapped career progression kicks in. There are two pathways for promotion which includes from the entry level officer and the other from the level of sergeant or any other rank below station commander.
They firstly have to be assessed and get to the rank of Chief Inspector before getting to the National Police Chiefs constable rank. All promotions are governed by budget and the availability of promotion posts. The Training College tries to, through recruitment, maintain a level of 6963 police officers through its recruitment and taking into account the attrition rate of police officers. To attain a District Commander’s rank, an officer should have between 15-20 years’ experience and have to be suitable and recruited from specialists’ ranks. Suitability for the post is determined by the Chief Constable.
The delegation was also informed that the Training College also provide training for Close Protection Officers and Firearms Response Unit. The Firearms Unit was formed in 2008 with 70 officers who provide 24/7 cover and responded to 1650 incidents. The officers are highly trained and undertake an additional 14 weeks training on firearms which includes tactical and decision making training. The officer has to familiarise himself with the Discharge of Firearms Policy when undergoing the training course. The firearms training focusses on the right to life within the National Decision making model.
Close protection officers have to undergo an additional five weeks training course and protect members of the judiciary. They account to the Northern Ireland Committee on Protection (NICP) as protection officers are not assigned to everyone. The NICP decides who requires protection and they balance the safety of officers against the safety of their principals.
3.7 Economic Crime Command and Organised Crime Command sections of the Crime Agency
The Committee was briefed by the Economic Crime Command and the Organised Crime Command sections of the National Crime Agency with a view of understanding innovations in structure, mandate and selection of strategic priorities and key threats. The DPCI is the South African equivalent of the NCA.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) was established in 2013 through the United Kingdom Courts Act of 2013. The NCA has the responsibility and mandate to investigate serious and organised crime. It functions is to engage in crime reduction through investigations and to support other law enforcement agencies through disruption of organised criminal networks. The NCA has identified five strategic priorities within the mission of prepare, protect, prevent and pursue. The priorities are: child sexual exploitation and abuse; organised immigration crimes; firearms; cybercrime; and money laundering.
Every aspect of the work of the NCA is intelligence-based and they work with internal and external partners in law enforcement. This is done through sharing intelligence and conducting joint investigations with other partners in law enforcement. The threats are managed through a national strategic threat assessment process. The NCA is part of the Organised Crime Task Force in Northern Ireland where it focusses its investigations on the laundering of hydrocarbon oils and fuels.
The NCA is accountable to the Home Secretary and meets with the Police Board if there are complaints against their members. Transnational crime is one of the focus areas which requires collaboration and partnerships. The NCA has an international liaison office network in 185 countries and are active in 130 countries which is supported by five regional international desks. The role of these offices are to provide a liaison point for foreign law enforcement community officers through the International Crime Bureau. It deals with overseeing international arrest warrants, maintenance of Interpol databases and international fugitives.
The NCA is also the lead agency when it comes to the national cyber-crime unit and deals with intelligence on the dark web, criminal infrastructure and looks at the development of technical infrastructure.
Asset forfeiture and recovery is a feature of the structures attached to the NCA, much like in South Africa, since 2003. The goal is to disrupt the money flows of organised crime groupings through ‘adopting the client’ approach. The NCA can look back 20 years in any investigation when it comes to capturing profits of organised crime.
There is a Board that oversees the NCA made up of a number of executives from a number of areas, including the banking sector. The Director General for the NCA is directly accountable to the Home Secretary. Significantly, the NCA is responsible for its own intelligence collection and networks, although it works with other intelligence agencies such as MI5 and the external intelligence wing MI6. The investigation and surveillance work of the NCA is regulated by the Regulation of Investigators Powers Act (2000) and the public has recourse to a team of experts led by a Judge who determines who has premise when it comes to the NCA overstepping its mandate.
3.8 Northern Ireland Co-operation Overseas (NICO)
The Portfolio Committee also met with the Northern Ireland Co-operation Overseas (NICO) which is the marketing arm of the Northern Ireland civil service. They do not receive any public funds and attempt to present a positive image of Northern Ireland and share experiences with countries around the world. The project has been involved in a number of policing projects around the world which related to police reform in Colombia, community policing in Panama and supporting the Rule of Law in Myanmar. The project is able to draw on police expertise from police members who have taken the package on voluntary retrenchment, after 1999 when the PSNI was reduced by 9000 members. The project works with the Ministry of Economy and tenders for projects internationally.
3.9 Safer Communities: Department of Justice
The Portfolio Committee also met with the Director of Safer Communities at the Department of Justice and the Assistant Director for Policy and Strategy at the Department of Justice. The Committee was briefed on the role that the Department plays with respect to community safety as it manages the relationships between the various law enforcement agencies in the UK. It has the responsibility for the police, probation services, pathology services and emergency planning services.
Given the history of Northern Ireland, the police under the RUC, and with the population of 51:49 to Catholic: Protestant split, the biggest problem was the identity of the police. After the findings of the Patten Commission who recommended a 50/50 split in recruitment for the PSNI, there is up to 30% participation of Catholics in the PSNI. In order to achieve this, the PSNI offered redundancy packages to police members. Within three years, the entire detective services were lost as a result of the lucrative nature of the packages offered and the process of recruiting retired personnel through re-enlistments and to recognise the skill of the retired personnel. The management of the PSNI was broken into three parts where the Chief Constable was accountable to the Police Board for policing, an Ombudsman who is responsible for confidence measures and the Minister who is responsible for policies.
The members of the Committee was interested in the governance framework with respect to how the parties relate to each other. There is a regular engagement between the Minister of Justice and the Chief Constable on a monthly basis. In addition, there is a number of security service meetings with all role-players and the Department of Justice. There is a six monthly stewardship statement that is put out by the Department and regular annual performance review meetings.
However, there are a number of threats to the process of policing as there is a national security threat from dissident paramilitary groups. The Department is also facing problems with serious organised crime with about 300 organised crime groupings involved in extortion, prostitution, people smuggling and coercive control. Paramilitary organisations have also set up a home –guard or neighbourhood watch system that is involved in terrorism and extortion. To combat the problem, the British and Irish governments have paid £350 million each to develop an action plan to get people to leave the paramilitary organisations.
Members of the Portfolio Committee wanted to know whether the community policing system still applied in Northern Ireland and was informed that the community safety partnership fund the neighbourhood watch and work with the police. There are over 1800 accredited neighbourhood street watches and the members of the watch are given a £60 stipend for expenses for every meeting they attend. The Committee was informed that they have moved away from community policing to neighbourhood policing which means that a smaller number of people can cover a larger area. The neighbourhood partnerships work with the police and local councillors in each of the 15 district councils to develop a local community plan and a local policing plan.
The Department of Justice, after the Stormont House Agreement in December 2014 has also decided to start a Historical Investigations Unit which will work with all the legacy cases from 1969 to date. The Unit will has been allocated £150 million for 5 years. It was also pointed out that the major political parties considered an amnesty and rejected it leading to the Historical Investigations Unit. The Committee was also informed that the budget for the Police Board was £10 million and that 50% of its budget is made available to the Communities and Safety programme.
3.10 The Parades Commission for Northern Ireland
The Parades Commission for Northern Ireland was set up as a result of the 1997 Drum Cree dispute in which the residents of Gorvakee road, Portadown (mainly Catholic) tried to prevent the Orangemen (mainly Protestant) from marching down what is perceived as “their” road. They sat in the road and this sparked a riot and civil disobedience.
As a result of the North Report recommendation (which stated that someone else other than the police must make the decision whether to march or not), the Parades Commission was established in 1998. The Public Processions (Northern Ireland) Act 1998 enacted and established the Commission. The Parades Commission is made up of five independent people nominated through a public process.
The rules for marching or any public procession is that marchers have to give notice of their march within 28 days or as soon as reasonably and practicably possible. There is no approval process and no permission to march must be sought. All they have to do is notify the Commission who can make a determination to place restrictions on the march. Out of 4500 determinations, only 500 were protests notifications and all notifications are placed on the Parades Commission website. The only exemptions to the Public Processions Act are funerals and the Salvation Army.
The Parades Commission have broad powers to restrict a march and where this happens quasi-legal determination is made and then it becomes a matter for the police to police. Marchers have the right to take the process of the Parades Commission on review and not the decision. They struggle with the same issues as in South Africa of two public bodies marching against each other and then have to re-schedule marches in terms of times and routes for such marches. The Parades Commission as an independent body is able to work closely with the local municipality and business to ensure that public order is maintained through the process of allocating notices for marches. In this respect, there is a close working relationships with the local police.
3.11 Findings and Observations for Northern Ireland
There are a number of observations and findings which the Committee found useful with respect to the Northern Ireland visit.
- There is ample space for different actors to hold the police to account. The separation of powers between the Minister of Justice, the Chief Constable and the Police Board enhances the accountability of local policing in Northern Ireland.
- The Police Board for Northern Ireland is independent and a necessary measure to ensure that policing is not politicised and that the control of the police is independently managed. They have the necessary powers to select and fire the senior management including the Chief Constable.
- There is an emphatic emphasis on the independence of actors who have responsibility for oversight over the police and the management of the police complaints system. In this respect the role of the Police Ombudsman’s role is critical for confidence building measures in the police. The role and mandate of the Independent Police Investigative Directive in South Africa is to play a similar role of confidence building measures in the police, especially with respect to the public trusting the police.
- The political sphere do not attempt to politically influence complaints and investigations as a result.
- The role of the National Crime Agency is fundamental to the investigation of organised crime and there are sufficient checks and balances to make sure that investigations into organised and commercial crime are not politically influenced.
- The Northern Ireland Parades Commission is a very useful instrument in taking the politics out of the decision for marches to go ahead. While in South Africa, like in Northern Ireland, no permission is required for marches to take place, only notice, there is still undue political interference from local municipalities to prevent marches from taking place.
- There is a great deal of transparency when an independent body, not linked to any municipality of state body has that role of regulating marches. It also makes the role of the police less political and allows for the police to play a role which protects marchers.
- The Committee was unable to meet with any of the political parties in Northern Ireland due to negotiations between parties on reconvening Parliament due to the collapse of the Political Agreement that shaped the Northern Ireland Assembly. They were unable to meet the deadlines set for the talks to find solutions on the impasse at the time of the visit.
4. London Visit
The Committee visited different policing structures in London in the United Kingdom from 27 - 31 March 2017. The Committee visited the National Crime Agency, Independent Police Complaints Commission, Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, the Police ICT Company, the London Assembly and Crime Committee, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, the Digital Policing Board and the Metropolitan Police Crime Academy (Hendon College).
Whilst in London, one meeting with the Select Committee on Home Affairs, the British Portfolio Committee that has oversight over policing was cancelled due to the British Exit from the European Union (Brexit) mechanism being triggered by the British Prime Minister.
5. The National Crime Agency
The National Crime Agency (NCA) was established in October 2013 as a renewed response to the organised crime threat. It included some of the national security infrastructure that it inherited from the Serious Organised Crime Agency which was established in 2006. The NCA reports to the Home Secretary and is called upon by most of the crime and law enforcement agencies to assist with investigations into serious organised crime and terrorism.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) hosted the Committee for a full day with a senior delegation of heads of the various departments and units responsible for Modern slavery and trafficking, International department, Threats and Intelligence (drugs), Firearms, Cyber-crimes and the economic Crimes sections.
The Committee was briefed on modern slavery and trafficking in the United Kingdom as it was seen as a hidden crime. The National referral mechanism indicated that only 3800 victims volunteered to provide details, it was seen as the tip of the iceberg. The Home Office provided statistical data which showed that there were about 10 000 - 13 000 victims. This included sexual and labour exploitation, domestic servitude, and trafficking for organ removal. The victims were from 97 countries but the top seven countries included Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Albania and Vietnam.
A discussion ensued around the matters of illegal migration and crime and Committee members were informed that the different nationalities were in the UK and were afraid and were being exploited. There was a fear of authority and exploiters found the vulnerabilities of their victims. The crime type enjoyed a charity-rich environment with over 290 NGO’s working on the issues. The NCA has now decided to work in the countries of origin from where most of the victims originate and use intelligence, but safeguarding the victim is the first priority.
The focus of the NCA was to follow the finances and build networks of the syndicate kingpins. Most of the work on modern slavery is provide for in the Modern Slavery Act of 2014. In this respect, a lot of work is being done with countries of origin and the Prime Minister have decided to make it a global issue. It was pointed out that despite the strict immigration controls at border entry points, criminals are still able to bypass them through sham marriages, false documents, political asylum claims and hiding people in ferry trucks.
The common issue is that syndicates trafficking people use the same financiers and money launderers. What makes the investigations of this type of crime difficult is the skills sets that need to be employed with respect to language groups. Translation centres have now been initiated. Some of the translators have become complicit as they are equally exploited and part of criminal groups. Most victims are given mobile phones which are used as a form of coercion. Sex work in the UK is changing with the advent of pop-up brothels using the internet which sees mass bookings of cheap hotels, and women and young girls flown on cheap flights and they move from hotel to hotel to avoid detection.
Given the hidden figure of the crime, it was decided to make this a priority for Crime Intelligence. A ministerial task force was also called into life to deal with the issue. There are now set structures within the NCA with national tasking co-ordination that meets quarterly with all divisions agreeing on priorities.
5.1 The International Division
Given that the NCA has streamlined its organisation and structure, a new international section comprising of 170 officers stationed in 52 countries and covering another 100 countries, giving it a reach of about 150 countries. The bilateral officer network deals with partner agencies in those countries and signals to the respective countries when organised criminals from the UK have started operations in those countries. A liaison network between the intelligence departments from those 150 countries has been established to share intelligence information and investigation methods etc.
5.2 Drug Threats and Intelligence
The Committee was briefed on dealing with the drug threat and the massive demand for drugs throughout the world and was informed that along with Iran, Pakistan and the Indian Ocean, South Africa was considered to be a transit route for heroin. The policing of the cocaine and heroin trade through the Indian Ocean route was a priority for the UK. The United Kingdom rarely sees cannabis entering its borders from South Africa. Although drugs was not one of the seven priority areas for the UK, the same criminal groups that were moving people to the UK were also moving drugs. The Proceeds of Crime legislation has had a disruptive impact on drugs even though it took about a quarter of policing resources to police. The NCA indicated that British organised criminals were locating to Cape Town see South Africa as an exploitative opportunity. According to the NCA, street level operators were using the internet to sell drugs, while the retail level of organised criminals were not using the internet.
The NCA vets all its staff and developed extensive vetting requirements. Where officials are identified, the system places a silent marker on the person and they are monitored by the Agency. Given the extensively developed vetting system, people are unwittingly vetted.
The NCA analysis shows that most of the drugs that are consumed in the United Kingdom are brought to the UK by nationals from 30 countries. Many of the crime groups who are domestic do not have the capacity to import drugs, particularly in high volumes. Cannabis is domestically grown in the UK and there is a longstanding demand for methamphetamines. Dutch manufacturers are exporting amphetamine oil to the UK and criminal groups are investing commercially between £4-6000 per kg for the drug. The importing of the oil is an attempt to make the UK an amphetamine conversion platform.
The NCA has developed many innovative strategies to combat drug crime at airports and private airstrips. They work closely with partners in the aviation industry to monitor baggage handlers and social media. Registration codes are given to members of the public to report things anonymously. People who show potential and the aptitude are recruited at a young age to become informers for the NCA. They are put through analytical training systems and will check risk areas.
5.3 Planning, Performance and Risk
The Committee was introduced to new performance measures for operational performance through using risk management processes and risk registers. Internal audit is effective by using what is called the blue lines of defence model which advocates compliance checking and balancing. As there are no set targets, the division uses trend analysis to measure impact as there is a certain expectation.
The division do not make an observation why crime has gone up or down, rather they tests for the measure of disruption of the drug economy for example. In the cyber-crime world, one individual can affect millions of people and the NCA uses organised crime group mapping processes to generate a score in one particular area. The management of risk environment (MORE) provides for quarterly reporting systems and there are 12 internal audit reviews which results in recommendations. Over 1409 recommendations were made to the NCA divisions.
The NCA Planning, Performance and Risk division has a team of 23 staff members and provides a turnaround time of one month on reporting moving to real-time validation processes with the data. The validation process takes between 4-6 weeks and a quarterly report takes six weeks to generate. Analysis considers analytical reporting on the arrest vs conviction rates through deep dive into the attrition rates.
The division is the risk champion and the Government Internal Audit Agency provides separate internal audit reports. There have also been many surveys on trust and public confidence has increased as a result. Conviction rates for the NCA is currently 96% and the division have focussed on the impact of how the impact have been managed, particularly since there has been a triage of 200 disruptions. It should be noted that the NCA do not consider displacement of crime as a major disruption. The NCA is also using academics to develop proper indicators for success in dealing with criminal gangs.
5.4 Firearms Threat desk
National Intelligence Hub-firearms
The Committee received a briefing from the Head of Firearms Threat Desk Mr Andrew French in the National Intelligence Firearms Hub. He indicated that he would be able to respond to the questions that will require a clarification on the matters in relation to the section. The areas highlighted during the briefing included the structure, size, background and responses to the firearms threat. It was explained how the threats are divided into key threat areas. The staff establishment consists of 17 officials within the firearms environment. The team comprises of senior managers, middle managers, line managers, task team work groups and supported by staff members who are responsible specifically for executing strategic work in terms of strategic action plan. The section has two additional colleagues seconded to the NCA partner departments in the ballistic forensic environments.
The NCA partner department is leading on national forensic ballistics firearms and ammunition link-series examinations. They also have seconded a colleague in Europe permanently who is a National expert assessor within the Europol firearms environment.
The Head of Firearms Threat desk gave a background overview on the status of the management and co-ordination of the firearms environment. He referred to the recent several attacks that occurred in Europe involving firearms in the previous months. He referred to policing in the United Kingdom which was centred at the main metro police and the civil organised crime desk for combined discussions around threats. He reported on the number of small operational activities which were conducted in the previous year during six weeks between November and December 2016. The operation was national and coordinated by firearms section with certain police groups and the NCA.
The outcomes of the operation showed that the level of co-operation between the different law enforcement agencies and the NCA with respect to serious organised crime and terrorism yielded results. The NCA findings were showing that threats were more around the proximity of firearms to organised crime and level of the groups presenting the threats. They also experienced a lot of abuse from the registered and licensed firearm owners particularly those who have increased their weapons to more than three or four.
He stated that handguns were most commonly used in the commission of crime. It was indicated that while handguns in circulation have increased, there was a slight decrease in its use in crimes and 100 weapons were seized. He said that around 200 weapons were classified as viable in terms of the legislation and more than five firearms in the legislation classified as viable and useable. The main strategic outcome from their counterpart was the UK realising that there was a need for a better model for intelligence and their sponsors in the NCA. The next stage will focus on the National Firearms Centre which will begin at the end of April.
5.5 National Cybercrime Unit
The National Cybercrime unit leads the response to cybercrime. There are dedicated regional cybercrime units with dedicated operational support teams who help to aggregate investigations of over 100 companies. The unit is staffed by over 300 personnel who are a mixture of investigators with intelligence staff and focus on industry investigations through its IT architecture. The National Cybercrime unit is the public face of the Government Communications Head Quarters (GCHQ). The division identifies vulnerabilities in the ICT system, hardware and remove them before they can be abused.
The National Cyber Security Centre employs data analysts in order to protect their clients and the division is currently building a malware laboratory to hold centrally and provide accessibility to partners. The National Cybercrime Unit lead, support and co-ordinate the rest of the UK Police response and is charting one network response to cybercrime. The National Cybercrime Unit is putting a lot into partnerships with industry forums, internet security companies and international companies embedded in the National Forensics Cybercrime Alliance.
To stay ahead of the game, the unit trains investigators and team them up with organisations with technical knowledge. They create a pipeline for recruitment internships and working with GCHQ. They also employ cyber security specialists who work for industry, but are sworn in as NCA cyber security staff and they assist the NCA in thinking strategically about bigger systemic problems. They are not paid by the NCA as they are seconded by their companies who receive a public thanks when they are successful. All the 24 cyber security specialists are vetted and some are former NCA officers who are experts in building software and coding. An amount of £1.9 billion has been made available for performance measuring and the funding comes from the Cyber Security Office. All the measurement relates to impact and measuring how the criminal enterprise have changed as a result of the work of the unit.
5.6 Economic Crimes Division
The Committee was also briefed about the establishment of the Economic Crimes Section in 2013 by the Home Secretary. There were high profile failures and reputational damage to the UK Banking Industry and it was estimated that there were US dollars passing through British banks to launder funds.
The Economic Crimes Section is mandated to look at money laundering in high end transactions crimes in excess of £1 million. They have established a national threat assessment to the banking sector and work closely with the Financial Conduct Authority to deal with conduct issues. A legal framework has also been established together with a joint Money Laundering Task Force that monitors all money laundering leads in the UK. All suspicious financial transactions are flagged and the Financial Intelligence Unit that deals with the suspicious transactions.
There is however great disparity in reporting such transactions from banks and as a result, the Criminal Finance Bill will make it compulsory for banks to report all financial transactions. The UK has also made it a criminal offence to be associated with any financial transaction that is associated with criminal offences. The legislation places due diligence on directors of banks, criminal lawyers, members of the accounting professions such as auditors, estate agents and lawyers to report.
Most of the prosecutions involving the Economic Crimes Section is linked to criminal asset recovery. The section is made up of multi-agency specialists, serious financial crimes sector specialists and investigative specialists at the Metropolitan Police. The section is also investigating professional enablers such as legal firms and regulatory organisations who play a role in the laundering of money. All investigators of the Economic Crimes Section have to be accredited in terms of the Proceeds of Crime Act and there is operational autonomy to decide which investigations to pursue.
6 Independent Police Complaints Commission
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) briefed the Portfolio Committee on its operations in investigating complaints against the police. The IPCC was established and became operational in 2004. Commissioners are appointed for a period of four years, and can serve two terms. Ten Independent Commissioners are appointed to serve on the Commission. Conditions for appointment includes that Commissioners must never have served in the police service. The Commissioners have the responsibility to monitor governance of the complaints system and investigations. They are completely independent of government and of the police, but receive their funding from the Home Office.
The IPCC is currently undergoing restructuring and will receive additional powers in some areas. In addition, the police complaints system will be simplified as it is complex.
The IPCC consist of a Chairperson, ten operational commissioners and four non-executive commissioners. The Chair is a crown appointment and commissioners are public appointments by the Home Secretary. The Commission is supported by a Chief Executive Officer who leads a staff of around 900 people.
The IPCC sets and monitors standards on the complaints system and they only investigate the most serious and sensitive cases. The majority of cases are investigated by the police, but the IPCC sets the standards for the police in investigations of complaints. They also provide for robust appeals for individuals to appeal to the IPCC when they are not satisfied with the manner in which their case was investigated.
The IPCC received a total of about 37 000 complaints for the 2014/15 financial year and 34 247 complaints for the 2015/16 financial year. A total of 3876 referrals were received of which 348 cases were investigated. In 61 of the cases, the IPCC directly supervised the investigations and 78 were carried out under the control of the IPCC. The police forces have to report to the IPCC and provide them with the details of the investigators and they have to endorse the investigators. The IPCC sets the terms of reference for the investigation.
In cases of gross misconduct, the IPCC undertakes a severity assessment and it should be noted that all complaints must be reported to the IPCC as it is mandatory. All the independent investigations are overseen by an IPCC Commissioner. All cases are assessed by an assessment unit and a lead investigator is appointed to lead a multi-disciplinary team. The final report must be approved by the Operations Commissioner before being referred to the Crown Prosecution Service. The findings and recommendations of investigations are usually provided to the police who must indicate if they accept it. One significant difference that the IPCC has, is that it has the power to direct the police to hold disciplinary misconduct hearings and they can take the decision by the police on review when it is not satisfied about the outcome. The IPPC has successfully lobbied government to have disciplinary hearings chaired by a legally qualified chairperson. The IPCC can appeal and in 2014/15, 40% of appeals were upheld.
All, the reports of the IPCC are published and made available on their website. The IPCC will be known as the Independent Office for Police Conduct from October 2017.
7. Association of Police and Crime Commissioners
The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners briefed the Committee on their operations. They are a membership-based body and they have 42 counties with 42 Chief Constables and together, the Police Crime Commissioners (PCC) hold the budget (£2 billion in London) for policing. The police budget is not increased by more than 2 % annually and if they wanted an increase in the police budget, they would have to hold a referendum. The budget for policing in England and Wales totals £8 billion. The Committee was informed that half of all crime reported happens online.
Police Crime Commissioners (PCC) in all counties are elected for four years but cannot direct crime operations, but holds the budget. The PCC sets the strategic priorities for policing after engaging with communities. The most senior officer is the Chief Constable and up to the 1950’s he was a senior civil servant. There are 35 000 police officers and 15 000 non-police staff members in the Metropolitan Police. There is a discussion between government and the police to open up the position of Chief Constable to include people from business backgrounds as the skills sets for policing have changed.
The Police Reform Board looks at the transformation of policing and have received billions of pounds to do this together with the APCC. They decide what is recommended to the Home Secretary. The Police Crime Commissioners funds all other bodies. The APCC also arranges the National Policing Summit together with private companies. The APCC have invested considerably in body-worn cameras as it has become a game-changer. It collects evidence, increased the amount of guilty pleas, it has reduced corruption and it protects the police officer and the public.
The APCC has doubled in size and have drawn in the deputy Chief Constables and they capture best practise through training, summits and engaging the delivery models and frameworks. The PCC’s are the lead on the development of policy on policing which is fed upwards to the Home Secretary. The areas where the PCC leads includes workforce and equality, performance and equality, policing and safety and performance and integrity.
There are monthly public meetings between the PCC’s and the local authorities to discuss the policing priorities which must be made public.
An interesting development has been the discussion of arming police officers after terrorist attacks. About 10% of the police members are armed after members of the public asked for them to be armed. It was also noted that the selection process for a Chief Constable is rigorous.
8. The Police ICT Company
A useful innovation on the Study Tour was the meeting with the Police ICT Company. It was reported to the Committee that between £750-1 billion is spent on ICT for the police. The Police ICT Company was created as a private company that is publicly funded.
It deals with all police ICT priorities such as: ICT strategy, commercial and procurement; delivery of work and programmes; people attract, develop and retain and innovation. The premise is that half of all crime has now developed a digital footprint and there are no longer any borders for criminals to commit crime using the internet.
The Police ICT Company is two-years old and is funded through the Transformation Fund. They take care to make sure that all police ICT procurement is centralised as there are over 2000 systems across police forces in the UK. They are able to strike a number of commercial deals as they can negotiate easier with multi-national companies. They are creating seamless links of data and information across networks and devices such as computers, laptops, mobile phones and other digital devices.
Projects of the Police ICT Company include the use of biometrics in facial recognition, Automatic Number Plate Recognition systems. They have also established the National Information Risk Management Team to interpret security standards. They also do cloud level checking of the security level in the provider and leveraging the public cloud environment. They are able to connect to every police force through the Security Operations Centre and have also looked at increasing storage of body worn cameras data. The data cannot be deleted for 7 years in certain types of crime and for 100 years for murder. In view of the fact that there are 150 data storage centres and that the rate of data increase, the content will grow within the next five years, procurement processes around data systems are changing.
The investment in central data system has far more benefits and they use external consultants on their own terms. The Police ICT Company also advised that centralised ICT systems are far better to manage and that the SAPS should consider using consultants on their own terms. The need is there for a strong intelligence function and the network infrastructure must be right in order for the ICT to be effective in investigating any crime. Their predictions are that digital crime will grow beyond 55% of all crime in future and any police agency must be ready and prepared to deal with the issues. The challenge is to get the right people and that the systems should speak to each other across the criminal justice system. This is important, especially with the current challenges in the Integrated Criminal Justice System implementation and links with the courts. The involvement of academics to gauge how crime is changing is also a way to engage with the public. One of the areas where there should be caution is that the victim of crime is not “designed out” of the process.
The use of facial recognition ICT systems at football matches, artificial intelligence systems for use in business intelligence applications in healthcare and prisons for example allow police officers to stay on the street supported by real-time ICT information. ICT officers must be involved in continuous training and retraining in cybercrime.
The Police ICT Company has a Board comprising of 6 PCC’s, one Chief Constable, the Chief Technology Director and representatives from the Home Office and the Mayor’s Office. The Police ICT Company is owned by the PCC’s, provide Quarterly Reports, an Annual Report and meets all PCC’s every six months.
9. London Assembly and Crime Committee
The London Assembly and Crime Committee is comprised of 25 members who hold the Mayor to account for crime and policing. The members are elected for four years, they have no executive powers over policing, but exercise oversight over the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC).
The Committee meets twice per month and produce reports. The Mayor holds the Metropolitan Police to account and the London Assembly and Crime Committee holds the Mayor to account. The Metropolitan police has the largest budget of £3.5 billion, but are facing cuts. The reason for the budget is that London is disproportionately a target for counter-terrorism.
The Assembly Crime Committee has direct scrutiny of the budget and can make recommendations. The Mayor’s Office has been responsive to the recommendations of the Committee. The MOPAC have the research capacity to research and scrutinise the Metropolitan Police. The Mayor has made a commitment to double the police in 630 wards to increase community policing and deal with the terrorist threat. There are dedicated community officers in each ward (police community officers). The challenge is that officers do not see neighbourhood policing as part of their priorities.
Ward Committees are involved in setting policing priorities and the role of technology in policing is taken very seriously indeed as it is considered the future of policing. In view of the intended budget cuts, the Met will lose about 1600 police officers per year.
The London Assembly Crime Committee handed a plaque to the Portfolio Committee on Police to commemorate the visit.
10. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC)
The Committee was briefed by Sir Thomas Windsor, Chief Inspector of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary. The office is one that is independent and objective and is a House of Lords appointed body. The genesis of HMIC was the abolishment of Police Office Board for Chief Constables Staff association. They established a staff college for policing and introduced changes in accountability for the police. The role of the Inspectorate is to perform oversight over the effectiveness and efficiency of the police in an objective way. HMIC cannot give orders to the police, but produces reports and is accountable to the Home Secretary. The Inspectorate produced 438 reports for the 2015/16 financial year and 538 for the 2014/15 financial year. They are able to proceed with criminal charges officers who wilfully provides false information.
Inspectors are appointed for a period of five years and the office is independent from the police and government. There are 300 staff members in the Inspectorate and the Chief Inspector cannot be fired by the Home Secretary for substantial reasons, or interfere with the appointment. The grounds for removal of the Chief Inspector is the same as for a judge of the High Court. This makes the office of the Inspectorate much stronger. The Inspectorate produces an annual State of Policing Report which is rooted in evidence. Special inspections address the accuracy of crime reporting, themes in organised crime investigations and the rank of police stations.
The staff of 300 is made up of 60% of police officers seconded from police stations and 40% of statisticians, researchers and communication experts amongst others. All reports on inspections are published on the website of the Inspectorate.
11. The Digital Policing Board
The Digital Policing Board (DPB) briefed the Portfolio Committee and was started to develop a local vision for policing 2025. The Board was started to develop a digital journey into policing as part of the national delivery landscape.
The purpose of the Board is to digitise all police interactions with the public when reporting crime, as each police force has a digital contact centre. The intention is to make the non-emergency calls to the police digitised and the goals are: to better protect the public, to reduce the threat of crime, risk and harm and bring offenders to justice.
The project wants to deliver on the digital architecture in 2019 and 2020. The purpose of digital policing is to have a single national owner for digital transformation and align three national programmes to strategic drivers. These are the Digital Public Contact which promotes contact with the public, Digital Investigations and Intelligence and Digital First which integrates the criminal justice system information.
The intention is create a single police portal from all the 43 police force’s portals so that it becomes a knowledge hub, copies all information and risk assess all the information. In view of the fact that 80% of the UK population being online through smartphones, the national cybercrime capability is more and more accessible to the public.
In order to tests the efficacy of the system, the Board has hired hackers in order to test the system and fix leakages. The Board also uses social media as a contact point for policing. It is also used to consider perceptions of policing from the view of members of the public. The entire business re-engineering process is viewed as a business process and the skills sets and the age mix between old and younger people is particularly. The system, is being future proofed with all the research and development that is put into it. A number of platforms have been developed in this respect including a legislative platform that informs of the latest legislative changes
Ten police forces have signed up for online crime reporting facilities with the system having been implemented in three police forces so far. Business crimes now account for between 5-10% of all crimes in the UK and every crime is now considered as a digital crime.
For each digital investigation, a digital footprint is created which is web facilitated and cyber enabled and cyber dependent. The types of offences have changed as a result of the internet cyber-enabled crimes, are crimes that are the most common types of crimes that police investigate, and can range from elderly victims who can be repeat victims of digital fraud all perpetrated online. Cyber-dependent crimes are targeting networks to send malware and ransware applications including phishing emails. Public confidence is critical and cyber dependent crimes brings with it a transnational challenge. A legal framework is developed to deal with ethics and encryption challenges. The last ten years, the drivers of technology was state driven and today it is consumer driven and innovative.
The Digital Evidence Transfer Services deal with communication and storage capacity in cloud storage. It develops storage capabilities and sharing protocols of asset management systems.
12. Metropolitan Crime Academy at Hendon Police College
The Committee visited the Metropolitan Crime Academy at Hendon Police College and was taken through the protocols which was required to deal with sex offenders and the administration of the Sex Offenders Register. Trainee officers have to undergo a three week course to understand the process of policing sex offenders. The Committee also toured the facility to check the training facilities when it comes to the investigation of certain types of crime for detectives. After conviction, the sex offender has to report to the police station within three days as they are put onto the Register for sex offenders.
The UK Border Management Agency is informed. Offenders must inform officers of a change of address, when they change jobs and inform police if they are living with children. A risk matrix is developed for each offender by the officers. Officers have to visit the offenders a minimum of four times per year. Police officers also have to undertake a two-hour intrusive interview with offenders and there is a multi-agency arrangement on sharing of information on offenders.
Vehicles are registered on the Automatic Number Plate Recognition system which track the movement of offenders, especially if they are near schools. The Sex Offender’s Register is not a public document and it is dependent of how high profile the case is. Anyone can ask the police about the status of a sex offender. Anyone who works at schools including teachers, groundsmen, and other staff has to undergo a criminal record check. It includes football coaches, scouts and other facilitators that have interaction with the children.
The Academy also trains detectives in policing domestic violence cases and it is based on a basic risk assessment which looks at immediate risks. It also trains officers in hate crimes, stalking investigations and honour related crimes. The key five building blocks of any investigation is: 1. Preserve life, 2. Initial crime scene consideration; 3. Securing witnesses and victims; 4. Securing evidence; and 5. How to identify and locate suspects. The officers are also trained in using video based testimony through the use of court intermediaries. The officers are part of the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) which includes the prosecution and probation services. It was pointed out that there has been an increase of 43% guilty pleas because of the use of body-worn cameras.
13. Findings and Observations on London visit
- The Committee made a number of observations and findings which are useful for crime fighting in South Africa and should be considered for inclusion into the review of the South African Police Services Act.
- The investigation of organised crime is deemed to be a priority and the inter-agency co-operation between agencies are important with respect to attaining success in investigations. In this respect, agencies such as the NCA is an elite crime fighting body and have the necessary resources made available to them.
- There is no political interference in the operational decisions of the agencies.
- The investigation of organised crime is digitally based and sufficient investment is made in using digital investigations and evidence.
- All the major investigative agencies agree that body-worn cameras has become a necessity in the fight against crime because it protects officers, victims and results in better prosecutions through guilty pleas.
- Organised criminal groups have set up bases in different countries and there is a need for transnational co-operation to enhance the information sharing between agencies that fight crime internationally.
- South Africa is a seen as a transit route country for drugs such as heroin and cocaine and the strategy of dealing with criminal syndicates is based on disruption of the criminal value chain.
- Cybercrime is the next generation of crime and almost all new crime in the UK is digitally based. The UK is preparing the necessary infrastructure to deal with future crimes and have successfully invested in the Police ICT Company and the Digital Policing Board to extend its readiness on digital crime.
- The UK has similar money laundering and asset forfeiture legislation as South Africa’s and have gone a step further by proposing that criminal facilitators of money laundering, such as attorneys and conveyancers, also be placed under the microscope for facilitating money laundering.
- The Independent Police Complaints Commission fiercely protects its independence and this give assurance to police professionalism and compliance in investigations. There is a commitment to professionalism in investigating complaints against the police and this helps with the conduct of the police.
- The public confidence in policing is enhanced through the reports generated by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary who is independent.
- The Committee noted that there are several agencies that has oversight over policing and this helps secure the professionalism and ethics of the police.
- The Committee recommends that the level of human and material capacity of the DPCI be increased to focus on the value chain of organised crime. The DPCI should develop clear budgetary guidelines for specialised units and table it in Parliament.
- The Committee recommends that inter-agency co-operation between the DPCI and other international crime agencies be strengthened.
- The SAPS and the DPCI invest sufficient efforts into the budgets, training and maintenance of the digital and electronic support in investigations.
- The Committee recommends that the SAPS invests in body worn cameras for all visible police unit officers.
- The Committee recommends that CCTV cameras are installed as a matter of priority in all community service centres throughout the country.
- The Committee recommends that the SAPS and DPCI strengthen co-operation with Interpol and other regional crime fighting institutions when it comes to fighting transnational crime.
- The Committee recommends that the SAPS develop the Cybercrime Centre as soon as possible as it has become a Ministerial priority.
- The Committee recommends that more resources are made available to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) to investigate without fear or favour.
- The Committee recommends that a comparative international study be undertaken to benchmark the role of the IPID and that the legislative framework for the IPID to be strengthened.
- The Committee recommends that the SAPS reviews the Management Services and Inspectorate within the SAPS, so that it can be strengthened.
- The Committee recommends that the SAPS reviews its technological support environment to strengthen its operational readiness in investigations and against cybercrime.
- The Committee recommends that the SAPS review the current career pathing of station, cluster and provincial commanders.
- The Committee recommends that the SAPS embarks on a review of the detective training, recruitment and retention environments.
- The Committee recommends that the Civilian Secretariat for Police develop a State of Policing Report and report before the end of the financial year.
The Portfolio Committee’s visit was illuminating because there was a considerable amount of investment in the digital investigation of crime. The assessment of UK crime fighting agencies is that it reduces investigative costs to integrate ICT systems of all policing agencies across the country. This was the original intention of the Integrated Justice System and we should make sure that we achieve those goals.
Report to be considered.
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