Corruption in the South African Police Service Civilian Perceptions and Experiences

"This paper has sought to detail the experiences and discourse that inform the current widespread lack of trust and public perception of corruption in the SAPS. The ordinary citizens who participated in this study proposed strongly that the simplest way for the SAPS to improve its legitimacy is through basic improvements to its professionalism and service delivery. Ideal police, as described by participants, would be competent, punctual, friendly, respectful and patient. They made it clear that it was less important for them that police are able to ‘solve’ crimes than to engage in a manner that recognises the needs and possible trauma that the complainant is experiencing. Such an approach would make it unthinkable for police to request bribes, sexually harass people, or abuse citizens, even if they are offenders. This finding is a key conclusion of this study, and is particularly important in relation to the new emphasis on forceful, militant policing currently being promoted by police leadership."