Thousands of police officers cannot handle firearms, says DA

2014-07-28 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The DA is concerned that thousands of police officers do not meet minimum standards to handle firearms.

Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko answered a parliamentary question by DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach, saying only 116 201 police officers are qualified in terms of the Police Act’s minimum terms to handle firearms.

DA MP Dianne Kohler Barnard said in a statement there are 155 534 operational police officers in the South Africans Police Service, which means 39 333 police officers are not qualified to carry a firearm.

She said this confimed a leaked audit that about 27 000 police officers had failed their firearm tests.

Kohler Barnard said it was a big source of concern that police officers did not get the necessary training to work to the best of their abilities.

She said this was dangerous both for members of the public and police.

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