Five ways in which policing in SA is improving

The South African Police Service (SAPS) implemented a “Back to Basics” programme to improve policing in October and so far there is a good story to tell‚ according to acting national commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane.

Here are five ways in which police services have recently changed for the better:

  1. A reduction in cases that are older than one year: Through the introduction of a docket age analysis system‚ SAPS started tackling and closing its older cases with one theft case dating back to 1978‚ according to SAPS head of strategic management Major General Leon Rabie.


  1. Better usage of forensic leads in cases: There was an increase in the number of cases with known suspects and known offenders as a result of improved forensic work in the past year‚ Rabie said


  1. An increase in the number of buccal samples taken: Due to new SAPS initiatives the number of samples collected increased significantly in the past year‚ Rabie said. Buccal swabs collect DNA cells from the inside of a person’s cheek.


  1. Improved firearm recovery: In the third quarter of the SAPS 2015/2016 financial year‚ 2002 firearms were reported lost or stolen and 3626 firearms were recovered‚ Rabie said.


  1. Better policies for change: According to researcher Dr Johan Burger of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS)‚ some of the policies relating to policing currently being implemented are a step in the right direction. These include the establishment of specialist units for narcotics and illegal firearm control.
  2. Phahlane‚ Rabie and Burger spoke at an ISS seminar on how policing in being improved in SA in Pretoria on Thursday.