Strengthening the SAPS for a safer South Africa: recommendations for police reform

Drawing on years of research, these priority measures can help the South African Police Service fulfil its constitutional mandate.

27 JUN 2024  

Many police members do good work and many criminals end up in prisons as a result. We applaud these successes. Nevertheless, since 2012, we have become increasingly concerned by evidence that the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) organisational performance and policing generally in South Africa are in a state of decline. After more than a decade of rising murder rates, improving public safety is critical for the country’s future. The government should prioritise a targeted programme of reform that measurably improves policing over the coming five years. Based on three decades of analysis of crime and policing in South Africa, this report provides recommendations in five strategic focus areas. 



Image: GCIS/Flickr

The ISS is grateful for support from the members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the Hanns Seidel Foundation, the European Union, the Open Society Foundations and the governments of Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

Evidence-based Policing Professional Policing


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