Action Society pressure pays off as SAPS specialised units receive new radios

Action Society’s continued pressure on the management of the Western Cape South African Police Service (SAPS) has paid off as the communication system crisis is finally being prioritised. Members of specialised units in SAPS have received their new radios this week. Action Society wrote to the Provincial Commissioner, the South African Police Service and the Western Cape province, demanding an urgent investigation into the matter last year. 

“We are glad that the issue has been rectified and that these units can go back to serving their communities effectively,” said Action Society’s Kaylynn Palm. 

The communication system crisis left critical first response units in SAPS, like the anti-gang units and the others, exposed and isolated in their efforts to protect the vulnerable in the raging gang wars in the province. “In areas such as Delft, Gugulethu, and Khayelitsha these units are usually deployed to active scenes first. Reliable communication for a unit like this, really can be the difference between life and death, especially if you consider how understaffed police offices in these areas are already.” 

Action Society intervened after members of these specialised units bemoaned how their collapsing radio communication systems made it impossible to carry out their duties effectively, and were forced to use their own data on their phones to communicate with each other.

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