Topic: Sector Policing
1. What is Sector Policing?
Sector policing is an approach to policing whereby the
service area of a police station is divided into smaller,
manageable areas known as sectors. For each sector, the SAPS
appoints a police official who is known as the sector commander.
The community and its sector commander are active partners in
ensuring local safety and security.
The sector commander involves all role-players in :
- identifying the policing needs in the sector; and
- dealing with the root causes of crime and factors that
contribute to crime.
The goal is to bring about effective crime prevention by
launching intelligence-driven crime-prevention projects in
partnership with the local community.
2. Advantages of Sector Policing
- is a practical form of community policing as it involves
policing smaller, more manageable areas;
- ensures more effective crime prevention, because
attention is given to the causes of crime and the factors
and circumstances that allow crime to take place in a
- contributes to community involvement, which leads to
sound partnerships between the police and the community;
- encourages and enables communities to take greater
responsibility for their own safety and security;
- improves the relationship between the police and the
community, which increases the community=s trust in, respect
for and understanding of the police, reduces the fear of
crime and improves service delivery by the police; and
- is policing at its most basic.
3. What is the Role of the Sector Commander?
The sector commander must:
- implement short-term - medium-term and long-term
strategies to eradicate the factors that contribute to
- report identified problems at the daily Station Crime
Forum (SCF) meetings to launch crime-prevention strategies
or projects to deal with those issues;
- gather the necessary information to develop and
implement effective and practical crime-prevention
strategies for the sector;
- to mobilise and organise the community to jointly act
against local crime; and
- to act as liaison between the community and the local
As a crime prevention officer, he/she is responsible for the
plans and projects to address crime in the sector.
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4. What is the Role of the Community?
Community members must attend SCF meetings to discuss action
plans with the sector commander in order to deal with crime in
- launch and participate in neighbourhood initiatives to
safeguard the community;
- provide information and inputs to prevent crime in the
- actively support sector policing by volunteering as
reservists in the sectors;
- get involved by contacting the sector commander and
secure the neighbourhood;local businesses, councillors,
resident associations and community leaders are called upon
to participate in all efforts to deal with factors that
contribute to crime in the sector.
5. Understanding Sector Policing Implementation Phases
Sector Policing has Five Implementation Phases
5.1 Phase One: Determine Sector Boundaries
The station commissioner must divide the local policing area
into sectors, by thoroughly analysing the crime situation in
that area. The sectors must be manageable for the sector
commanders. The following factors must be considered in fixing
the boundaries of sectors:
- Alignment with CAS blocks and municipal wards
- Infrastructure such as main roads, railway lines, and
bus and taxi routes and terminals
- Demographic features such as population size, cultural
diversity, and the distribution and size of suburbs,
industrial areas, residential area, business areas, farms
and small holdings
- Common needs of the various community interest groups
- Geographical size and topographical features of the
policing areas, such as mountain ranges and rivers
5.2 Phase Two: Appoint Sector Commander and Sector Team
The station commissioner must discuss the appointment of
sector commanders and sector teams for each sector with the
prescribed selection panel. The following is important:
- Sector commanders must have good communication,
presentation and marketing skills. Creativity and
determination are also recommended qualities.
- To ensure the right persons are appointed, the
recommended competency profile must be used.
- At least two reservists should be recruited to assist
the sector commander.
5.3 Phase Three: Compile a Sector Profile
The sector commander must draw up a sector profile. The
sector profile must be based on the station profile. It must set
out the policing needs of the sector regarding improved service
delivery and police/community relations.
A sector profile is a planning tool that gives the police
direction in identifying the needs, concerns, perceptions and
abilities of sector communities.
The sector commander must update the sector profile regularly
as new issues emerge or as the community changes. Collecting
information for the sector profile should involve active
interaction and consultation with the community.
5.4 Phase Four: Establish Sector Crime Forum (SCF)
The station commissioner must hold a meeting with the main
role-players in the sector to establish a Sector Crime Forum (SCF)
The SCF must:
- consist of the general public, as well as local
businesses, local councillors, resident associations and
identified community leaders;
- use available communication mechanisms, such as
community radio stations, community meetings and local
newspapers to market sector policing; and
- hold regular meetings to discuss the sector crime
profile, identify and analyse safety and security problems
and come up with plans of action to deal with the identified
The SCF must have a sound working relationship with the
Community Policing Forum. Existing CPF subforums should, where
necessary, take on the role of the SCF to avoid duplicating the
function of similar bodies.
5.5 Phase Five: SCF Activities
The chairperson or a nominated representative from each SCF
attends the CPF executive or general meetings.
After the safety and security needs of the sector have been
identified and prioritised, the members of the SCF can then
determine the best possible actions to be taken, for example, to
consult the local municipality regarding poor street lightning.
Should your have any queries, please contact :
The Directorate: Partnership Policing at the following
Tel: (012) 421 8326 / (012) 421 8318
Fax: (012) 421 8310
FOR ATTENTION: SUPERINTENDENT R THIRBENI
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