Citizens don’t trust police, summit told

2011-07-09 16:55

Communities’ trust in the ­police has reached alarmingly low levels, civil society members and researchers told Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa and Police Chief Bheki Cele at a summit on police killings.

Cele earlier this year called cop ­killings a “crisis” and lashed out at communities and the ­media for being “unsympathetic” when officers were ­murdered.

ince the beginning of this Since January, 48 officers have been killed. Last year, 93 ­officers were killed.

At the summit held in ­Boksburg on Friday various Community Police Forum ­representatives from across the country related stories of how community members were afraid to come forward with ­tip-offs because they didn’t know which officers to trust.

“If the information went to the wrong police officer, it would reach the criminal, and the informant or community member would be exposed,” said Johan Burger, senior ­researcher at the Institute for Security Studies.

National chairperson of ­policing forums, Mandla Mphuthi, said many community members knew about crimes being planned or committed in their areas.

“But the question is, who do they tell? People are scared,” he said.

Corrupt officers, station ­commanders who misused the policing forums for their own personal power trips, and police brutality were some of the ­issues that directly influenced the relationship between the police and communities, the summit heard.

Leonard Brown from the ­policing forum in North West said in areas where the community had no trust in their local police, you also found that the forums were mooted by station commanders.

“We are like ‘glorified informers’ to them (the police). We are called upon to give information but we are not part of crime prevention strategies or building relationships between the police and the community,” he said.

In his address, Mthethwa said a community safety forum strategy was being implemented by the secretariat of police.

“This strategy will outline and contribute to a great understanding of the role and ­responsibility of the public in crime combating.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.