Senior South African politicians from the Department of Safety and Security within the Free State Provisional Government recently visited a UK university to gain an overview of current UK thinking about policing and criminal justice.
The University of Leicester's acclaimed Scarman Centre for the Study of Public Order hosted the visit, which was funded by the British Council and the Department for International Development. The party included the Provisional Minister for Safety and Security, Ms Annah Buthelezi-Phori.
Programme organiser, Kate Broadhurst of the Scarman Centre, explained: "With the recent images we have seen of police brutality in South Africa, the country clearly still faces enormous challenges, but having met such senior policy makers who are strongly committed to change. I believe that there is every reason to feel hope for the future in South Africa".
During the two-week programme the delegates received training on subjects such as community policing, youth crime and domestic violence and lectures were backed up by visits to various projects in Leicester and other cities designed to prevent and reduce crime.
Another highlight of the programme was a three-day visit to London which included discussions with officers in the Racial and Violent Crime Task Force at New Scotland Yard; talks with the Chairman of the Police Complaints Authority; a meeting with Home Office Minister, Paul Boateng in the House of Commons and a visit to the Cabinet Office to meet John Bright of the Social Exclusion Unit
Commenting on the visit, Ms Buthelezi-Phori, Minister for Safety and Security, said: "This programme provided by the Scarman Centre has done a great deal to enrich our understanding of the way policing is practised in the UK and we have learnt a good deal about what constitutes good practice, which we hope may in time be implemented in South Africa".
Another member of the delegation, Mr Neo Masithela, Chairperson of the Safety and Security Committee in the Free State Legislature, added: "the programme has provided a good basis for further exchanges of good practice in policing and crime control. The challenge now is to understand how thinking in the UK can inform practice in South Africa".
Further details about the study visit are available from:
Kate Broadhurst, telephone +44 (0)116 252 5784, fax: +44 (0)116 252 3944 email firstname.lastname@example.org, and Adam Edwards, telephone +44 (0)116 252 5702, fax: +44 (0)116 252 3944, email email@example.com.
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