A cross-sectional study of traditional police culture themes amongst experienced South African Police Service officials.
There are serious concerns in South Africa lately regarding the change and behaviour of the police officials. Many incidences of police brutality have been reported and some broadcasted on media. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 108 of 1996, demands a fundamental re-evaluation and conversion of the nature and style of policing in South Africa from denying the human rights of the majority of South Africans during the ‘apartheid era’ to gaining the trust and respect of all. This means changing the relationship between the citizens and police officials to build an environment that is conducive for all South African citizens. Based on the comments of a representative sample of experienced South African Police Service, this thesis explores the presence of the police culture themes of solidarity, isolation and cynicism amongst experienced police officials, with 10, 20 and 30 years of services . The researcher found substantial evidence of the presence of the police culture themes of solidarity, isolation and cynicism among experienced SAPS officials. Based on the findings of the study, it is argued that new developments in police and policing in South Africa over the last thirty (30) years (whether structure, strategy, policy and/or legislation) have not assisted much in counteracting police culture traits that traditionally accentuate the cynicism of and isolation from the public. In other words, counteracts democratic police and policing principles.