Youth lose confidence in police - survey

2012-06-11 14:00

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Johannesburg - Most South Africans aged between 18 and 34 across all race and demographic boundaries have lost confidence in the police, a survey has found.

About 62% of those questioned believed the police were becoming more corrupt, 51% said government did not do enough to support the police, and 66% said they did not trust the police to come to their aid in an emergency.

The results of the survey, which was conducted among 4 024 people across the country by consumer insights company Pondering Panda, were released on Monday.

It found that 47% of respondents said the police were becoming worse at their job, and that 49% believed the police were not properly trained.

Government had not put the right people in charge of the police, 57% said.

"These figures are quite alarming, clearly showing the South African youth have lost faith in our police service," Pondering Panda spokesperson Shirley Wakefield said in a statement.

Getting worse

"They hold the government responsible for the situation and see things getting worse, rather than getting better."

Only 26% of respondents felt the police were getting better at doing their job, compared to the 48% who felt they were getting worse.

"What is needed now from government is strong leadership. Government could begin to rectify the sentiment by appointing a police commissioner that people have confidence in," said Wakefield.

"They should also ensure that police officers are adequately trained and they have access to the resources necessary to adequately do their jobs."

Although all demographic groups were negative in their assessment of the police, black South Africans were least negative, possibly because the police had focused on increasing the effectiveness of policing in the townships, Pondering Panda said.

However, perceptions of increasing corruption were uniformly negative across all race groups. Of the Indian and Asian participants, 72% held this view.

Sixty-two percent of coloured participants, 61% of black participants, and 60% of white participants felt corruption was increasing.

"Corruption, in particular, stands out as a significant problem, and it is imperative that the public feels that the police are taking a tough stance on corrupt cops," Wakefield said.
Read more on:    police  |  youth

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