Public order policing units 'need resources, support'

2015-02-05 07:49
(File, Sapa)

(File, Sapa)

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Cape Town - Public order policing (POP) units must be given sufficient resources and support to enable them to do their job safely, Parliament's portfolio committee on police said on Wednesday.

"Containing community unrest, especially violent ones, is not an easy thing and these officers need every support they can get," chairperson Francois Beukman said.

The committee found that POP units were a critical element of policing in South Africa - as previously expressed by President Jacob Zuma and the Cabinet.

The units needed to be prioritised for resource allocation and support.

Visit

The committee visited the POP unit Hazyview in Mpumalanga on Wednesday.

Committee members were shocked to find that there were only a limited number of working Nyalas, which are vehicles used to disperse crowds and blockades.

"The consequences of not having sufficient Nyalas, according to the committee, include exposing public order police officers to danger, especially when attending to violent unrests."

Beukman said the internal processes for the Nyalas to be fixed needed to be urgently rectified.

Community unrest

"We are approaching local government elections next year and trends have shown that community unrests tend to increase during this period.

"Our police officers need to be adequately equipped to contain such."

The committee also found that it was taking too long for laptops and cellphones to be bought for POP members.

The committee would approach the national leadership of the SA Police Service to ensure issues including training and proper accommodation were speedily attended to,.

"We want these matters sorted out so as to ensure that the police officers responsible for maintaining public order do their job in the most effective way."

Read more on:    police  |  protests

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