Police Accountability Factsheet LOGOSThe police are supposed to protect the public from crime and violence, but they sometimes engage in unlawful behaviour such as corruption, brutality, and torture. Holding police accountable for wrongdoing is essential.

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) together with SERI and other partner organisations including the Legal Resources Centre (LRC), the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF), Viewfinder, Corruption Watch, and the Anti-Repression Working Group of the C-19 People's Coalition, have developed a factsheet on police accountability to commemorate Youth Day.

This factsheet has combined content from all the partner organisations, and aims to create a centralised knowledge bank with information on police accountability. This factsheet has been developed to help members of the public understand police powers, their rights when encountering police, and their options for reporting abuses of power by the South African Police Service (SAPS). 

The factsheet contains information about:

  • When police can make arrests;
  • The rights of arrested persons;
  • What happens during an arrest;
  • Police responses during protests;
  • When police can use force;
  • What weapons police can use;
  • Explanations of torture and police corruption;
  • Recording and reporting abuse by police; and
  • Additional information about police brutality.
  • Download the full factsheet here.

Police accountability factsheet ENGLISH