THE decision to reduce the training period of police trainees from two years to eight months will be calamitous, (The Witness, April 20). After two years in intensive training, new appointees at stations fall short of taking a thorough statement, cannot answer the telephone punctually or take messages accurately, aside from their gross indifference to Batho Pele principles. Further, the calibre of intakes shows the SAPS has no interest in raising standards. Often, cases are lost due to weaknesses in police personnel.
Our education system is an embarrassment. This in no way helps in the united fight against crime when the training period is cut by more than half. This frightening decision was taken by a failing ANC government which in two decades lacked the vision to increase intake. The government pleads poverty and a lack of monetary resources, despite self-aggrandisement and corruption. TRC vice-chairperson Alex Boraine recollected a bodyguard saying that on entering the SAPS, some police officers are initially honest, but they too soil their hands as soon as they are taught the tricks of the trade. Sadly, the upright are few who stand out in communities. Opposition parties need to challenge the new churning out time. The moratorium on reservists needs to be lifted and police with criminal records weeded out together with the corrupt.