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Policy and Research Papers

The Police That We Want: A Handbook for Oversight of the Police in South Africa

A handbook for assessing police performance in countries undergoing democratic transition has been published by the Johannesburg-based Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, in association with the Open Society Foundation of South Africa and the Open Society Justice Initiative.

The Police That We Want: A Handbook for Oversight of the Police in South Africa , by David Bruce and Rachel Neild, offers an outline of "democratic policing"—the behavior and techniques appropriate to police in a democratic setting. The book includes a set of indicators designed to assess democratic policing in order to encourage transparent and objective evaluation of the priorities and progress of police reform.

Written primarily for South Africa, the handbook follows international practices in policing and police oversight and can be adapted for use in other countries by all those supporting and overseeing police reforms. The indicators are applicable even where local police use different structures, systems, or operational strategies.

The Police That We Want identifies five areas of democratic policing and provides key measures for evaluating performance in each area. The five areas are the protection of democratic political life; police governance, accountability, and transparency; service delivery for safety, justice, and security; proper police conduct; and the police as citizens.

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