KZN police station on worst list

2007-11-27 00:00

The DA yesterday named the five worst police stations, following a two-month series of site visits by the party to police stations around the country. Besides KwaMashu, the DA identified Verena Police Station in Mpumalanga, Mfuleni Police Station in the Western Cape, Inyibiba Police Station in the Eastern Cape and Mdantsane Police Station in the Eastern Cape as being among the five worst in the country.

DA Safety and Security spokeswoman Dianne Kohler-Barnard said yesterday the five police stations are examples of the challenges and difficulties members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) face.

“The conditions under which some SAPS members have to work are appalling — made all the worse because, with efficient management, the truly terrible conditions they work under are 100% preventable,’’ Kohler-Barnard said.

Speaking at a media briefing, Kohler-Barnard said Manenberg Police Station in the Western Cape was identified as an example of a police station that is extremely well-managed and -resourced.

“Police stations are the direct link between safety and security initiatives and members of the public. Challenges and constraints faced at station-level mean that the public’s ability to access criminal justice is directly affected, for better or for worse,” she said.

She said many of the stations visited experienced shortages of staff, vehicles, bulletproof vests and operational equipment such as hand-held radios, pepper spray and handcuffs.

Many also suffered from a lack of adequate space in the holding cells, a lack of office space, inadequate storage facilities for

equipment and evidence, a lack of secure storage facilities for dockets and an absence of interviewing rooms and secure suspect identification rooms.

Further problems were stations’ non-compliance with the Domestic Violence Act and unsuitable station premises.

“We have decided to release this list of the five worst police stations to reveal the truth about the difficulties our men and women in the SAPS struggle with on a daily basis, in the hopes that the ensuing debate will prod the ministry into tackling the situation with a determination that seems, to date, to have been markedly lacking,’’ Kohler-Barnard said.

The DA will hand a copy of the document to the portfolio committee on Safety and Security chairperson so that the committee can explore ways to highlight the conditions of many police stations.

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