Crime down, but few resources

2017-03-09 06:00
Police deputy minister Maggie Sotyu promised more resources to local stations. PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

Police deputy minister Maggie Sotyu promised more resources to local stations. PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

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Deputy Police Minister Maggie Sotyu has revealed the despite her department deploying more than 800 new recruits in the province, she will not rest on her laurels as there was still a huge lack of resources at police stations.

Sotyu said this during a visit to police stations in the Khayelitsha Policing Cluster, to assess working conditions.

The cluster comprises of the Khayelitsha, Harare, Strand, Lwandle, Lingelethu West, Macassar and Gordon’s Bay police stations.

Sotyu visited Lingelethu West and Lwandle where he met with stakeholders, including City Law enforcement and local Community Policing Fora.

She said she was shocked to see the conditions under which police officials work in the two police stations she had visited.

“Following repeated engagements with our stakeholders, which includes the community, we identified key challenges that we are faced with...including police visibility, human resources and operational resources.

We have improved police visibility and added more members, but operational resources are still an issue we are working hard to address,” she said.

She said that one of the be biggest problems was the lack of space at the two police stations.

“The problem is that we do not own the land and as a result there is little room to grow these facilities. The spaces are tight and in some cases dockets are kept in places where they get rained on. This needs to be addressed,” she said.

She said that the police were also struggling from a case backlog which is as a result of the limited number of detectives.

“We have detective sitting with more than 250 case dockets at a time, which can never be conducive to a good working environment. We understand that there is reluctance by the members when it comes to moving from visible policing to the detective department.

We have to find a way to make this work, even if it mean recruiting people directly into the investigative services, (or as detectves),” she said.

Sotyu said she was happy that following the recently released crime statistics, there was a marked decrease in priority crimes.

Cluster Commander Major General Johan Brand noted that crimes such as mob justice, and taxi violence had decreased.

Brand said even the occasional group fights at schools are addressed through the safer schools programme.

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