South Africa is in dire need of a quality, intelligence driven police service and we hope that the national budget for 2022/23 financial year will indicate resource allocation for the relevant auditing, restructuring and development to address the mostly failed organ of state.
The Rosettenville cash in transit heist incident of Monday, gave millions of South Africans hope, as it indicates what can be achieved if all law enforcement stakeholders play their part effectively. This positive outcome, is unfortunately a drop in the ocean considering the copious amount of violent crimes communities are subjected to daily.
The shortage of experienced crime intelligence members that are not abused by the ANC, is only one of the factors that has proven to be a major influence on the ineffectiveness of the South African Police Services (SAPS) over the past few years. SAPS need to invest in quality recruitment and training to ensure that the police force can be pro-active in fighting crime in our country.
“The South African Police Service must never be seen as a job creation opportunity, as it is in dire need of specifically identified individuals that have the right traits to be effeciant career police members,” said Ian Cameron, spokesperson for Action Society.”
“We all know that the economy is struggling, but these are the times that we need to look at ways of getting the best results with limited funding. One option is for the SAPS to reimplement the reservist system. South Africa went from more than 60 000 reservists just 10 years ago, to less than 9 000 in 2019. We would like to know how much will be invested in the reinstatement, recruitment and training of reservists, and what the timeframe of this budget implementation will be,” said Cameron.
Reservists are a cost-effective way to clamp down on crime and effectively implement crime prevention strategies on ground level. Not only is it cost effective, it is a great way of empowering communities with statutory capacity to safeguard their streets.
In addition, an urgent external audit needs to be done on the handling of firearms within the SAPS. According to the SAPS 2020/21 annual report, 566 SAPS-owned firearms were reported as either lost or stolen in that year, although the real figure may be much higher. Currently, due to the Firearm Permit System (FPS) being off, SAPS have no real way of determining how many firearms they really have under their control.
Cameron continues: “Budget needs to be allocated for an external panel of private firms to do an intensive firearm audit, which will be a massive task, as it seems SAPS have no control over their firearms and these firearms end up on the streets ̶ in the hands of violent criminals. All that the SAPS really need to do is allocate funds to switch on the FPS, which was shut down due to payment disputes with the developer in June 2020. They have the system, they just need to pay the supplier and start using it. But again, it seems that the National Commissioner and Minister of Police are just spectators of crime in South Africa and constantly failing in their mandate – which is to protect citizens.”
The on-going DNA backlog crisis, is another item that must be addressed in the SAPS budget. Action Society wants to know how much money will be allocated to the Forensics Department – in particular the National Forensics Laboratories (NFSL) ̶ to ensure that the DNA backlog is eradicated as a matter of urgency. The recent implementaion of Section 36D (1), will also add additional strain on the system, not just at the NFSL but also on station level. DNA sampling kits will need to be made available and police members will need to be trained in the taking of DNA buccal samples of all persons arrested on a schedule 8 offence.
“Having the legislation in place to facilitate the population of the National Forensics DNA Database (NFDD) is one thing, the implementation of this law is a different story. SAPS leadership needs to be held accountable in this regard and must enable their members to carry out their prescribed duties.”
ISSUED BY: Action Society
DATE: 22 February 2022