DA slams city police station

2008-06-10 00:00

The Democratic Alliance (DA) yesterday launched a scathing attack on the government’s decision to redeploy the specialised family violence, child abuse and sexual offences (FCS) units.

The DA’s attack centres around acutely bad conditions faced by police officers investigating child abuse at the Plessislaer Police Station in Edendale.

DA MP Mike Waters said the decision has proved disastrous. He said that the 16 officers at this station cover five police stations in the cluster and receive nearly 11 FCS cases per day — roughly 4 018 a year.

Waters said that out of the 173 clusters in the country, the Plessislaer cluster ranks 45th in the country for levels of sexual violence and child abuse.

“However, the 16 police members at the Plessislaer Police Station who are supposed to investigate FCS crimes have only one vehicle and no computers.

“The computers that they arrived at the station with, following their redeployment, were taken over by the detectives as was predicted by the DA,” he said.

Waters said this once again highlights what his party has been saying all along, that the dismantling of the FCS as independent units was the biggest mistake the government could have made in the fight against child and women abuse.

“The Democratic Alliance reiterates its call on government to reverse its decision to dismantle the specialised family violence, child abuse and sexual offences units, and to implement a pilot project where an FCS unit must be re-established.”

KZN midlands police spokesman Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram noted the DA’s concerns.

However, he said the information pertaining to the logistical equipment is false and misleading.

“The SAPS has its own grievance procedure and members [who are] aggrieved or are unhappy for whatever reason are at liberty to address such grievances via the grievance procedure, which ultimately will ensure a resolution is arrived at. To activate outside assistance is not only absurd but reckless,” he said.

He added that the re-deployment of FCS units to the cluster stations was a national decision and will remain as such until further instructions. He said the SAPS Plessislaer is a cluster station and caters for the five stations within the cluster accordingly.

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