Metro cops, Saps to integrate
Johannesburg - South Africa's metro police service is to be integrated into the SA Police Service to form "one super police force", a police department spokesperson said on Saturday.
The project, spearheaded by Deputy Police Minister Fikile Mbalula, would see the SAPS transformed into a paramilitary force, with military ranks and discipline, spokesman Paena Galane told Sapa.
"We need to have one single strong police force, with all police resources being utilised towards the same goals."
He said it was a waste of state resources to have metro police arrest people, only to hand the cases over to the SAPS for investigation and court processes.
"Metro police have huge resources but do not handle dockets. They do not testify in courts of law. Now we are trying to utilise all the police forces we have in a better co-ordinated way to win the battle against crime," Galane explained.
Having metro police departments in every town in the country led to unnecessary public confusion, he said.
Developing a police force
The move was also in line with the resolutions taken by African National Congress in Polokwane to establish a single police service.
Galane said the initiative was still being discussed internally.
"The department will be meeting with state law advisors soon to discuss policy on the matter."
Meanwhile, the Saturday Star quoted Mbalula as saying police training would have to change to turn the (police) "service" into a "force".
He also criticised the current police ranks as being too civilian.
"We don't want police to be conflated with other NGO that is not well understood...There's nothing that will change, except that we are developing a police force," Mbalula told the newspaper.