Lawmakers hear of sad state of SAPS detective service

2012-09-06 00:00

CAPE TOWN — About a fifth of South Africa’s detectives have never undergone a formal detective training course.

Moreover, many police stations do not have enough computers. Some are still in their boxes and are not connected to the South African Police Service mainframe.

Numerous police vehicles were also not suited to the terrain in which they were operating. In some cases detectives reached crime scenes only after a two-hour journey, which meant that the crime scenes were interfered with.

These weaknesses in the detective service were revealed yesterday by Public Service Commission (PSC) chairperson Phumelele Nzimande at a discussion on detective services in Parliament. MPs, police representatives and members of civil organisations were among those who attended the forum.

Nzimande said research by the PSC had shown that of South Africa’s 25 000 detectives, 4 845 had not completed any detective training courses.

About 48% of police stations did not have enough computers and 24% did not have enough vehicles.

“This results in a low rate of convictions and makes successful prosecutions difficult,” Nzimande said.

A PSC document handed out during the discussion showed that 70% of police stations did not have enough detectives to carry out investigations.

Democratic Alliance MP Dianne Kohler Barnard expressed shock .

“Being a detective should be something a constable looks forward to. It is counter-productive to call someone a detective before he or she has passed their examinations.”

Dr Johan Burger of the Institute for Security Studies said detectives could be divided into two groups.

There were those who were taken straight from police college and put into the detective branch after they had received detective training, but they did not have any police experience.

The other group had basic police training, but no formal detective training. They saw it as unnecessary to undergo the detective training course, since they were already working as detectives, Burger explained. “I think the solution is for police officers first to complete their basic training, to work for two years, and then to receive detective training.”

Burger said the police should consider reintroducing a uniformed detective branch that could concentrate on less serious cases, such as road accidents, drunken driving and ordinary assault cases.

“That would relieve the pressure on detectives and create a pool of aspirant detectives who can be promoted to the detective branch.”

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
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.