Cops who lose guns will be fired – Mthethwa

2010-12-07 09:23

Police officers who continuously and recklessly lost their guns would be fired from the SA Police Service, the minister of police has said.

Minister Nathi Mthethwa made the remark with reference to a Parliamentary reply to lost, stolen and recovered guns for 2009/10, said spokesperson Zweli Mnisi.

According to the reply, the SAPS lost 3 453 guns and recovered 1 210, while civilians lost 8 498 firearms and 3 985 were recovered during the 2009/10 period, the statement read.

“Firearms form part of the resources that are given to police in order to enable them to fight crime effectively.

Part of the responsibility is to ensure that those who are allocated these resources handle them with caution and utmost responsibility.”

The minister said that if a gun was lost due to negligence, a police officer would be considered incompetent to carry a gun, which would make him or her redundant in carrying out duties.

“The obvious thing would be to relieve them of their duties,” Mthethwa said.

Mnisi said the minister was concerned that only half of the guns lost by civilians were recovered.

“We want to urge society to exercise necessary caution to ensure that legally acquired firearms do not end up in the hands of criminals.

“Much as we shall be tough on our members, we shall also be hard on any member of the public who loses his or her firearm,” he said.

The ministry had started rolling out an Integrated Ballistics Identification System (Ibis) to ensure greater control of guns in the country.

Mnisi said Ibis would hold police officers to account for every gun allocated to them.

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