UJ research team rejects SAPS accusations

2015-05-30 23:37


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Durban - A research team from University of Johannesburg on Sunday rejected claims by police that it had manipulated information in a bid to stop a budget increase in funding for riot control.

A statement released by the UJ Social Change Research Unit on Sunday said that it stuck by its original findings in a report released on Thursday which in which it said it sought to draw attention to the police’s “misleading use of its own statistics” to obtain an increase in funding for Public Order Policing.

The research by by the UJ Social Change Research Unit's Professor Peter Alexander, Dr Carin Runciman, and Boitumelo Maruping was lambasted in a statement released by police on Friday.

According to the police’s statement the research teams findings were “a deliberate and distorted interpretation of our submission to the Portfolio Committee on Police”.

“It is clear that this deliberate misinterpretation of facts supports the view held by some of the researchers that the police should not be involved in the management of protests. The information was clearly manipulated in order to suit this view,” the police statement read.

The police are seeking to increase their budget for public order policing from R2.7bn to R3.3bn and according to the police statement a submission was made to parliament’s police portfolio committee on the issue.

“The motivation provided for the additional funding was not just for additional capacity to do crowd control management during violent protests, but for crowd management in general,” read the police statement.

The initial UJ report was based on a study and analysis of 150 000 crowd incidents that were supplied by Saps to the research unit.

The crowd incidents are broken down into “peaceful” and “unrest”. Peaceful ones made up around 90 percent of all incidents recorded, and unrest cases the remaining 10%.

“We are disturbed by the response of Saps to our analysis of data newly released by Saps Incident Registration  Information System on crowd management incidents. We refute their distortion of analysis found in our report.”

According to UJ, the R3.3bn spent on public order policing would be enough to build 200,000 houses priced at R150 000.

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