Corruption in the South African Police Service: Civilian perceptions and experiences


This paper discusses the findings of fifteen focus groups that explored civilian perceptions and experience of police corruption in South Africa. The research was conducted in and around three cities, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban,in mid-2010. The paper suggests that a ‘tough’ approach to policing is unlikely to win public favour or change public perceptions. Instead the South African Police Service (SAPS) needs to concentrate on moulding itself into an organisation of well-trained professionals. Above all, the police have to treat South Africa’s citizens respectfully.

About the author

At the time of writing Andrew Faull was a Senior Researcher in the Crime and Justice Programme at the Institute for Security Studies. He has published widely on the topic of police corruption, police oversight and police culture in South Africa, and is the author of the book Behind the Badge: the untold stories of South Africa’s Police Service members. He served as a police reservist for a number of years in different police precincts in the Western Cape and Gauteng. He is currently pursuing a DPhil in Criminology at the University of Oxford.



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