Commissioner: Expect Nyanga police shake-up

2014-09-10 15:56

(Nielen de Klerk)

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Cape Town - A major shake-up is planned at the Nyanga police station to address leadership problems, Western Cape police commissioner Arno Lamoer told MPs on Wednesday.

Briefing Parliament's portfolio committee on police following an oversight visit by MPs to the station last month, Lamoer acknowledged there was a crisis at middle management level at the station.

"Nyanga [police] station was being seen as a dumping station [for officers] in the past..." Lamoer said.

He said complacency had been identified as a reason for police inefficiencies in the area.

"The problem for us is there are members sitting at stations for up to 28 years, so immediately they have no interest [in the job]," he said.

"They just report for duty and we want to change that."

A plan to replace the "deadwood" at the Nyanga police station was being implemented.

New officers would be moved to Nyanga, but this would probably be done on a voluntary basis.

"The best way to deal with the leadership problem is to advertise the posts and get people who really want to work in the area," Lamoer said.

'Bad apples'

Members of the Nyanga Community Policing Forum (CPF) were not impressed and accused the police of trying to hide their failures.

"They can come here and claim that things have improved, but in the eyes of the community the hooligans are in control," said Nyanga Community Policing Forum chairman Martin Makasi.

"We urge the provincial leadership of SAPS [the SA Police Service] either they don't take us serious or it's an issue of trying to cover for themselves because we know what's happening on the ground."

Makasi agreed there were "bad apples" in the police service at Nyanga.

"People, even at the level of colonel when you get there at night they are busy on social networks," Makasi said.

"When we arrived there at 02:00 people were sleeping and... the shift commander was nowhere to be seen."

The 2012/13 crime statistics revealed that 262 murder cases had been reported at the Nyanga Police Station - the most per station in the country.

In light of this, CPF member Mawethu Gwija questioned Lamoer's statement that attention was being paid to improving the police service at the station.

"I can't understand how there's an improvement when we are called the murder capital of the country," Gwija said.

Lamoer undertook to investigate the complaints from the CPF members and fast track intervention plans for the station.

Read more on:    saps  |  cape town

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