Mountain Rise clean-out

2009-11-04 00:00

MOUNTAIN Rise police station was put under new management yesterday. This comes after notices of intended suspension or transfer were served on 11 station members implicated in allegedly manipulating crime statistics.

The controversy was brought to public attention after the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) swooped on the station last November after a sharp decline in reported crime raised Mountain Rise’s profile and earned it praise and a R500 000 bonus for being the top station in the province.

Last month, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa told Parliament that the station had failed to include 147 crimes in its statistics report, while it was suspected that 253 dossiers were not registered on the SAPS central database.

A source revealed that yesterday officials from the provincial commissioner’s office summoned the 11 officers to the SAPS city headquarters at Davis Alexander House.

“They are transferred. Yesterday they were instructed to report to the commissioner’s office in Durban with immediate effect,” said the source on condition of anonymity.

Provincial police spokeswoman Director Phindile Radebe confirmed the installation of the caretaker management at the station, saying the decision was taken after considering input by the 11 members.

“The management has decided to move all 11 members out of the station to report directly to the acting provincial commissioner while the allegations are still being probed.

“This decision was taken to enable a smooth and speedy investigation and to remove any hint of perceived hindrance as all 11 members are in management positions at the station,” said Radebe.

She said there is a possibility that more officers may be removed from the station to ensure a smooth investigation.

The Hawks were called in to assist in the investigation to ensure that it is done objectively.

The caretaker management consists of officers from the provincial and national offices and will be led by Director M.P. Moloi.

The new management took over the station yesterday.

Democratic Alliance KZN community safety spokesman Sizwe Mchunu reiterated the party’s call for the officers to be suspended. “We have said before that it would be awkward for the investigation to continue while the officials implicated in the wrongdoing are still working. We feel that won’t do for the smooth running of the investigation,” he said.

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