While the published product has been adapted to be applicable to any jurisdiction, an earlier version specifically catered to South Africa's Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID). The IPID is a government department tasked with ensuring independent oversight of South Africa’s various police bodies, particularly with regards to investigating a range of mostly criminal offences if alleged to have been committed by police officers. In early 2012 the IPID began a major transformation from its former incarnation, the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD), to the current Directorate. In 2011 I was fortunate to be able to interview the ICD's then Executive Director, Francois Beukman, about the planned changes for the South African Crime Quarterly. Part of this transformation has included an examination of the ways in which the IPID monitors and evaluates the performance of its employees, particularly its investigators. The earlier version of this policy brief sought to help the new IPID reflect on approaches to performance monitoring that are employed in comparable oversight agencies in Canada, the United States, Australia, Northern Ireland, England and Wales.
Perhaps unsurprisingly the paper shows that most oversight agencies consider their key performance indicators to be only those relating to:
- The number of complaints received and finalised annually
- The time taken to finalise complaints
- The outcome of complaints
However, in addition to these, the paper shows that oversight agencies collect and engage with a wide range of data in often very different ways.
The report makes special mention of qualitative indicators when these are employed. No agencies reviewed consistently tracked qualitative indicators in every investigation. Rather, where they were employed, this related predominantly to survey and case study research, the latter involving select samples of investigations.
APCOF is a network of African policing practitioners from state and non-state institutions. It promotes democratic policing through strengthening civilian oversight over the police in Africa. APCOF undertakes research, provides technical support to state and non-state actors including civil society organisations, the police and new and emerging oversight bodies in Africa. You can follow APCOF on Facebook or visit their website for other open source publications relating to police oversight in Africa.