Police not meeting target practice obligations

2012-06-18 10:36

Nearly 60 percent of Gauteng police officers did not meet their annual target practice obligations in 2011.

Beeld newspaper reported that target practice attendance figures had dropped by nearly 40% over a three-year period.

According to the answer to a parliamentary question by the Democratic Alliance, 21 477 police officers attended target practice courses during 2009, compared to just 13 332 in 2011.

The number of hours that Gauteng police spent on the shooting range, dropped during the same period from 171 576 to 106 656.

According to DA spokesman for social development Mike Waters, at least 18 761 officers (58.5 percent of the 32 093 in Gauteng) did not report for target practice at all in 2011.

This was regardless of the fact that Lt-Gen Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, the then acting chief of police, explicitly stated that target practice once a year was an integral requirement for the issuing of firearm licences to police officers.

According to police spokesman Colonel Noxolo Kweza, the Gauteng police decided that in 2012, it would focus on firearm competence, and that target practice would not be seen as a priority.

Waters said it was crucially important for police officials to attend target practice sessions to ensure that their competence remained at a high level.

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