The mandate of a LS4 patroller is clearly defined in a variety of sources, but a clear answer is provided on the SAPS website under Sector Policing as follows:
What is Sector Policing?
Sector Policing means policing that focuses on small manageable sectors of a police station area. Sector Policing is a tool to implement Community Policing.
Purpose of Sector Policing (SAPS)
- Perform targeted visible police patrols
- Ensure a rapid response to complaints
- Address crime generators
- Investigate reported cases
- Provide a localized policing service to the community in accordance with their respective needs
What is the role of the Sector Commander? (SAPS)
- To mobilize and organize the community in the sector to take action against local crime together with the police.
- To act as liaison between the community of the sector and the local police station.
- To act as a crime prevention officer, which involves being responsible for all plans and projects to address crime in the sector.
What is the role of the community? (LS4)
- Attend the Community Police Sub Forum meetings to discuss action plans with the sector commander in order to deal with crime in the sector.
- Participate in neighbourhood initiatives to safeguard the area in which they live, work and play.
- To take ownership of community policing and support the SAPS in the enforcement of the law.
Structures for Community involvement in Policing
- CPF (SAPS Act)
- Community Patrol Groups
- Street Watches
- Street Committees
- Neighbourhood Watches
- Business Watches
Community Safety Structures affiliation
The Community Police Forum is regulated by Section 18 of the South African Police Act, 1995 (Act No 68 of 1995) Interim Regulations for Community Police Forums and Boards (Section 3 regulates the establishment of a Community Police Sub-Forum).
Community Police Forum objectives according to Sec 18 of SAPS Act, 1995 (Act No 68 of 1995)
- Establishing and maintaining a partnership between the community and the Service.
- Promoting communication between the Service and the community.
- Promoting co-operation between the Service and the community in fulfilling the needs of the community regarding policing.
- Improving the rendering of police services to the community at national, provincial, area and local levels.
- Improving transparency in the Service and accountability of the Service to the community.
- Promoting joint problem identification and problem-solving by the Service and the community.
Community Safety Structures affiliation (how?)
Hand in a written application to the Community Police Sub-Forum in a sector and provide the following:
- Constitution and code of conduct.
- Name of the watch structure.
- Descriptive map of the sector, area block, estate, complex in which it operates.
- Names, addresses and contact numbers of the members of the watch structure.
- Names, addresses and contact numbers of the executive committee members.
Difference between Reservists and Patrol Groups
- Appointed under the South African Police Service Act, 1995 (Act No 68 of 1995) , Section 48.
- Has the same powers as a police member (e.g. Arrests, investigate)
- Receive training in: firearms, legal aspects, basic police functions and procedures, etc.
- Affiliated to the sector Community Police Sub-Forum.
- Limited powers e.g. Citizen’s arrest.
- Limited training (e.g. Basic knowledge of the laws, crime scene management, first aid, etc.)
Operational functions of the Community Safety Structures
- Eyes and ears of the SAPS.
- If the need arises, carry out a citizen’s arrest in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977 (Act No 68 of 1977), section 42.
- Performing patrol duties that will serve as a crime deterrent.
- Preserving crime scenes when first on the scene.
- Facilitating good relations in the neighbourhood.
- Rendering a voluntary service.
- Reporting crime and crime in progress to the SAPS.
- Creating crime prevention awareness amongst the community.
Thus, we can summarise the objectives of LS4 patrols as:
- Eyes and Ears of SAPS.
- Provide a support role to the community.
- Provide a support role to SAPS.
- Ensure visible ‘policing’ during peak crime times.
- Deter criminal activity in the LS4 area.
Free training is provided to groups at the Joint Operations Centre.
To volunteer for patrols or for more information, please email email@example.com