Policing News

Nigeria: Transparency International rates police force as the most corrupt institution in Nigeria

December 5, 2015

According to the 2015 Global Corruption Barometer by Transparency International, the police force in Nigeria is perceived as being the...

South Africa: McBride suspension unlawful

December 4, 2015

The Pretoria High Court is expected to hand down a ruling regarding the lawfulness of the former director of the...

Sierra Leone: Inspector General of Police accused of censor

November 26, 2015

Inspector General of Police in Sierra Leone, General Francis Alieu, has been accused of attempting to censor one of the...

South Africa: HAWKS Spokesperson cannot confirm or deny move to suspend Deputy Police Commissioner

November 25, 2015

HAWKS spokesperson, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, has been unable to confirm allegations that the Deputy Police Commissioner, Nobubele Mbekela, has been...


Current Projects

Current Projects

The Consortium on Crime and Violence Prevention


The Consortium on Crime and Violence Prevention (CCVP) is collaboration between the Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention (CJCP) and the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF).

Current projects include:

 Dialogues on Crime and Violence Prevention

The dialogue on crime and violence prevention is collaboration between APCOF and the Ingarapé Institute in Brazil on the implementation of the

Citizen Security Dialogue (hereafter known as ‘the Initiative’), and is subject to a Cooperation Agreement between APCOF and Ingarapé. Ingarapé has also established cooperation agreements with other partners including: Fundación Ideas para la Paz (FIP) in Bogotá, Colombia and Instituto para la Seguridad y la Democracia (INSYDE) in Mexico City, Mexico.

The Initiative, which will run to 2015, is guided by several core objectives.

To create opportunities for south-south network to emerge to critically reflect on the goals and anticipated outcomes of interventions designed to promote safety and security, beginning first in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, South Africa and then radiating outwards.

To develop strong research evidence base on the design, implementation and consequences of violence reduction and citizen security activities across a range of settings to inform more progressive policy and practice in real time.

To promote more engagement and awareness across public, private and non-governmental sector communities about comprehensive and integrated urban security promotion in settings affected by chronic criminal and organized violence and challenge repressive law enforcement approaches as the dominant paradigm.

 Conferences will be held in Mexico City (November 2014), Cape Town (February 2015) and Bogota, Columbia (April 2015).

 The Eastern Cape Crime Prevention and Safety Strategy

APCOF as a key role-player in the review of the Eastern Cape Safety Strategy will throughout the CCVP support the monitoring and evaluation and capacity building of stakeholders to implement this Strategy. The CCVP also provides technical assistance to the stakeholders on implementing this strategy. 

Youth Resilience in Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality

The CCVP in collaboration with CJCP, Masifunde Youth Development and the Gender, Health and Justice Research Unit at UCT is undertaking a project on building youth resilience in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Area. The project aims to build resilience in youth (in schools and communities) in order to prevent crime and violence.

Community Safety Plans in Namibia 

In partnership with the Urban Trust Namibia, the CCVP is reviewing and monitoring and evaluating the implementation of safety plans within three pilots communities in Namibia. These communities are: Rehoboth (85km south of Windhoek), Okahandja Park (a formal and informal settlement within Windhoek) and Oshikango (a semi-rural town on the border with Angola).

 White Paper on Safety and Security

The CCVP was commissioned by the Civilian Secretariat for the Police to support the drafting of a reviewed White Paper on Safety and Security. The intention behind this proposed White Paper is to develop an overarching policy framework for which deals with safety and security in a comprehensive, developmental manner. 

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Use of Force


This project will focus on strengthening current legal provisions on the use of force by police officials by focusing on compliance with the rule of law, the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and International Law. The project has advocacy, research and legal reform components.

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Implementation of the Luanda Guidelines in Africa


APCOF has received support from multiple donors to support the implementation of the recently adopted Guidelines on the Conditions of Arrest, Police Custody and Pre-Trial Detention in Africa (the Luanda Guidelines).

Activities include:

The provision of technical assistance to the ACHPR for the development of implementation tools such as reporting templates, training manuals and model policies and procedures;

Engagement with regional professional bodies to promote use and visibility of the guidelines; national interventions in South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Tunisia, Tanzania, Ghana, Malawi, and Ivory Coast to promote mainstreaming of the Guidelines in domestic laws, policies and practices;

Research, training, and advocacy initiatives.

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Impunity Project


APCOF in collaboration with the CSPRI-Community Law Centre of the University of Western Cape is conducting research on law enforcement impunity in South Africa. The project will research reasons for low prosecution rates of law enforcement officials (in policing and correctional services environment) implicated in human rights violations.

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East African Community Police Human Rights Training Manual


APCOF is developing a training manual for police officers in the East African Community. The training manual will focus key aspects of police work and compliance with the East African Commission Common Standards on Policing.

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Criminalisation of Poverty in Africa



In partnership with the Pan-African Lawyers Union, CSPRI and the Southern Africa Litigation Centre, APCOF is working to promote the declassification and decriminalisation of petty offences.

The project aims to reduce arbitrary and discriminatory arrests, which disproportionately impact the poor and which overburden already strained criminal justice systems.

APCOF's role is to conduct advocacy at the ACHPR for implementation by States, through the adoption by the ACHPR of measures to promote the relevant provisions of the African Charter, Luanda Guidelines on Pre-Trial Detention in Africa and Ouagadougou Declaration on Petty Offences in Africa. 

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Investigator Training - Building Capacity of African Police Oversight Institutions


In 2010/2011, APCOF partnered with the South African Independent Complaints Directorate and the Trilateral Cooperation Fund (TRI-CO) of Germany to train investigators from police oversight bodies in Kenya and Tanzania. In 2013/2014, APCOF collaborated with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to provide this training to civilian oversight institutions in Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, also with the support of the TRI-CO Fund and GIZ.

To date APCOF has conducted training in six countries.


Participants: Kenya National Human Rights Commission; IPOA,

17 -20 February 2014 in Nairobi. 


Participants: Uganda Human Rights Commission,

4-7 August 2014 in Kampala. 


Participants: Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice; and Ghana Police Service;

25 - 28 August and 17 - 20 November 2014 in Accra. 


Participants: Commission on Human Rights and Good Governance, 31 March - 3 April 2014 in Arusha. 


Participants: Police Service Commission, CLEEN, Human Rights Commission and Ministry of Police, 9 - 12 September 2014 in Abuja. 

South Africa:

Participants: Independent Police Investigation Directorate (IPID), 8-12 December 2014

The importance of effective police accountability is recognised in Africa. Unfortunately its effective implementation remains a challenge. The African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR) resolved in 2006 that “accountability and the oversight mechanisms for policing forms the core of democratic governance and is crucial to enhancing rule of law and assisting in restoring public confidence in police; to develop a culture of human rights, integrity and transparency within the police forces; and to promote a good working relationship between the police and the public at large.”  The Commission called on states to “establish independent civilian policing oversight mechanism where they do not exist which shall include civilian participation.”

The training seeks primarily to provide skills to investigators from all police oversight bodies in order to strengthen the capacity of each institution to engage in successful investigations of complaints against the police. The training may also include partners from civil society organisations and the police, as decided by each of the participating institutions.

This training is focused on imparting both knowledge and skills, and will be provided in a 5-day residential format. The training is designed to be experiential in nature, offering participants the opportunity to practice learned skills through role-plays and case studies. The training manual includes a trainer’s manual as well as a resource pack consisting of relevant policy documents as well as a CD with selected literature on the subject.

The training covers the following issues:

Introduction to Oversight;

The powers of Oversight Bodies;

Stakeholder management;

Basic elements of an investigation;

Conducting the investigation;

Physical evidence and crime scene management;

Verbal evidence: dealing with witnesses, victims and suspects

Interviewing skills;

Police officers as the subject of investigation;

Investigating torture and death in custody;

Investigating sexual offences;

Writing a report;

Ethical and political dimensions of investigations.



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Promoting Rights Based Reform of the Use of Pre-trial Detention in Africa


APCOF is working with civil society networks to identify the key challenges to the realisation of a rights-based approach to pre-trial detention, develop training and advocacy materials that will seek to address these challenges in a practical way, promote the adoption of a resolution on good practice pre-trial detention with the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR)

APCOF draws on the existing international standards and treaties that govern pre-trial detention and builds on the existing work in promoting reform of pre-trial detention and networks of diverse experience in a number of relative disciplines, including police reform, criminology, law reform, access to justice, anti-corruption/governance and public health. The project will also seek provide technical capacity to national oversight mechanisms to strengthen public scrutiny and accountability of the institutions responsible for arrest and detention.

The project recognises that uses and conditions pre-trial detention that do not accord with the relevant international standards and treaties governing are symptomatic of a greater challenges within a criminal justice system and its associated institutions. Accordingly, the project’s objectives and activities are developed with the aim of linking with, and informing, broader programmes of work to reform key criminal justice institutions (including government departments, courts, judges, police and prisons) and promoting outcomes that will strengthen states’ adherence to the rule of law, access to justice, public health and the prevention of torture.

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