Cop crime study flawed - SAPS

2015-01-29 05:00
(File: Sapa)

(File: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - A study about police involvement in serious and violent crimes was based on flawed methodology, SA Police Service management said on Wednesday.

"The methodology used to conduct the research leading to the compilation of the report, in our opinion, is fundamentally flawed," spokesperson Solomon Makgale said in a statement.

"Mr Frans Cronje [CEO of the SA Institute of Race Relations] frequently acknowledged during the meeting that the report was based on assumptions and inferences and that the research was never stress-tested."

He was referring to a meeting between national police commissioner Riah Phiyega, Cronje and Ian Cameron of AfriForum, which funded the study.

Phiyega requested a meeting prior to the release of the report on Wednesday.

The SAIRR report, titled "Broken Blue Line 2", is a follow-up on the initial project released in 2011.

Cronje said at the report's release in Pretoria earlier that the researchers sought police co-operation during the analysis, to no avail.

Regarding the methodology, Cronje said SAIRR analysts identified 100 cases of alleged police involvement in serious and violent crimes.

"These 100 cases studies were written up and then analysed in order to look for trends or patterns of behaviour," he said.

According to the report the 100 cases were just the "tip of the iceberg".

Makgale said: "The SAPS was never engaged during the course of the research process, yet the report is about this organisation."

Police databases were not used as a source of information for the study and court reports and judgments were not sourced.

"Mr Frans Cronje frequently acknowledged during the meeting that the report was based on assumptions and inferences and that the research was never stress-tested.

"The report contains dangerous generalisations, apparently mostly based on media reports, interviews with journalists and some form of engagement with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate," Makgale said.

Front cover

In the same statement, Phiyega complained about the use of her photograph on the cover of the report.

"I feel aggrieved that my photograph is being used on a report which I consider to be malicious and that my request that it be removed was ignored.

"... As the accounting officer of the SAPS, I publicly disassociate the SAPS and myself from this report. We do not support it and feel that it was funded and released with malicious intent."

Earlier, Freedom Front Plus said that the SAPS was failing to deliver on its constitutional mandate to protect communities.

"The SAIRR report confirms that the public cannot trust the police," spokesperson Pieter Groenewald said in a statement.

He said there was an endemic lack of discipline in the police.

"Police members who lose firearms, enforce wrongful arrests and commit corruption are lightly rapped over the knuckles and some even get off scot-free," Groenewald said.

"Criminal offences are often merely concealed."

Groenewald said considering that two police commissioners - Jackie Selebi and Bheki Cele - were removed for corruption-related offences, the SAIRR's findings were not surprising.

"If the police question the report they should institute an independent forensic investigation into crime in the police service," said Groenewald.

He said such an investigation would vindicate avid, hard-working police officers.

Read more on:    police  |  afriforum  |  ff plus  |  sairr  |  riah phiyega  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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