More cops protect VIPs

2011-01-18 14:49

Almost 10% of police officers are now tasked with protecting dignitaries, government buildings, railways and ports of entry, according to a South African Institute of Race Relations survey released today.

The study, based on figures provided by the SA Police Service, shows the number of protection and security services personnel rose 371%, administration personnel by 43%, crime intelligence officials by 38%, visible policing staff 32%, and detective services members by 19% between the 2003/4 and 2008/9 financial years.

In March last year, the SAPS consisted of 190?199 staff members compared to 182?754 in March 2009. In March 2009, 15?836 police officers were involved in protection.

“They guard government buildings, ports of entry, and railways. South Africa hosts significantly more international events than any other African country. This might explain the need to expand the size of the protection division,” said Kerwin Lebone of the institute’s research department.

“In addition, the Zuma administration increased the size of government through the creation of new ministries. This would have made it necessary to hire more staff to protect state officials,” he said.

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