South Africa News

Metro police calling for limited investigative powers to allow case prosecution

Metro police members are calling for limited investigative powers to allow them to prosecute cases within their mandate.

A 2019 parliamentary research paper found a major challenge for metro police is their limitations in terms of investigative powers for traffic and bylaw-related crimes.

As it stands, only the South African Police Service (SAPS) is allowed to investigate criminal cases.

The Chapter Four White Paper on Policing states that a regulatory framework must be established for conferring limited investigative competencies for metro police departments to conduct investigations in particular categories for preparation to submit to court.

This is to include particular categories such as traffic-related matters, municipal by-laws, as well as crimes committed on and related to municipal assets or environment, such as theft and tender irregularities, among others.

Currently, members of metro police departments in seven South African cities are only allowed to detain suspects until SAPS is able to take them into custody.

Metro police do not hold any power to investigate cases that go to court.

Sources within metro police claim they would be able to fast-track cases and prosecutions related to by-law infringement and traffic offences should they be granted limited investigative powers.

-EWN

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