Stats fiddle: cops speak out

2009-07-07 00:00

ALLEGATIONS of manipulation of crime statistics at the Mountain Rise police station are becoming more widespread, with members of the public accusing offi­cers there of refusing to open cases.

According to court papers submitted by the whistleblower, Craig Josiah, the fraudulent practices started in 2007, when Director Hariram Badul took over as station commissioner.

A disgruntled resident, Rajendra Moodley, has threatened to take legal action against a police officer at the station. “My son had an argument with another youngster and he was assaulted there. He went to the police to lay charges, but the officer refused to open a case.

“I will be opening a case against the officer for defeating the ends of justice,” Moodly said.

It is alleged that certain crime incidents reported at the station are not recorded in the Criminal Administration System (CAS). Police officers at the station, who spoke to The Witness on condition of anonymity, said officers who oppose the introduction of the new system have been victimised.

“If you object to instructions (not to open a case) you get a departmental disciplinary hearing,” said one of the officers, who said he is facing disciplinary action for opening a case.

“Previously (before 2007), all crimes would be registered in the system, but we were told not to open ca­ses and not to register crimes if there is no suspect.” Instead, complainants are given an IR, or incident report number, which means the crime is not registered on the CAS.

“If a complai­nant insists that he wants a case opened, a docket is opened and he is given a number, but it’s not the real case number,” an officer said. He said such dockets are “sent upstairs” to the crime centre. One of the police officers said a group of directors conduct interviews with complainants and then instruct junior members to “do the dirty work”.

According to the officers, the doc­kets are filed in boxes in the crime centre and “a member of the public can go in and walk out with a box of dockets without being noticed”.

The Witness has a list of more than 200 people whose cases were allegedly not recorded.

The sharp decline in crime statistics lifted the Mountain Rise police station to stardom when it received an award for its “amazing performance”, but the celebrations were short-lived when the Indepen­dent Complaints Directorate swooped on the station and confiscated dockets.

However, the benefits for good performance remain unchanged. Each member of the police station received a once-off payment of about R2 800. The Mountain Rise Police Station has about 300 members.


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