Cop crimes go unpunished

2013-07-21 10:11
Police (File, AP)

Police (File, AP)

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Johannesburg - Almost 9 000 police members face charges for crimes they are meant to prevent, but official statistics show that less than 100 of these will ever be convicted and punished.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate, that investigates complaints against the police is also falling behind as allegations rocket, reports the Sunday Independent newspaper.

Insiders meanwhile say the police often ignore the watchdog’s recommendations.

According to the South African Police Service 2013 annual performance plans, as of March 31, a total of 8 846 officers faced charges such as assault, rape, theft and corruption.

An analysis meanwhile of the complaints laid with the watchdog shows that convictions have remained static at less than 40 a year.

Zweli Mnisi, spokesperson for Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, said management had been instructed to take a hard line on criminality. But with criminal prosecutions failing, many victims of police crime are resorting to civil courts for compensation.

“We are also deeply concerned about the number and amount of litigations against the department. The SAPS paid over R200-million in respect of civil claims, representing 3 773 payments from April 1 2012 to March 31 2013,” said Mnisi.

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