Special police units may return

2009-07-01 17:05

Cape Town - The police are looking at bringing back specialised units, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Wednesday.

Opening debate on his department's budget vote in the National Assembly, he said it was now recognised that certain crimes needed to be tackled by police officers with specialised knowledge and experience.

"We will review the decision to close specialised units. The closure of these units has led to significant debate regarding the need for certain types of crimes to be addressed by people with specialised knowledge and experience.

"We need to consider the reintroduction of some of the specialised units, such as a child protection unit and a sexual offences unit," Mthethwa told MPs.

On the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, the unit that replaced the Scorpions, he said this would become fully operational on July 6.

"Fifty-one members of the former Directorate of Special Operations (the Scorpions) have already joined the new unit. A further 227 will join... on July 6.

"Altogether, 1 700 members have undergone security clearance processes and are ready to ensure that the unit hits the ground running. The unit will have presence in all nine provinces," he said.