Increase manpower by cutting salaries of top cops - CPF chair

2015-07-23 18:02
Hanif Loonat. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Hanif Loonat. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town - Shortages in the number of police officers across the country could be addressed by “simply cutting top cops’ salaries”, former Western Cape Community Policing Board chairperson, Hanif Loonat, said on Thursday.

He formed part of a panel of speakers invited to discuss effective community policing at a seminar hosted by the Social Justice Coalition (SJC), Ndifuna Ukwazi, the Community Law Centre and the Civil Society Prison Reform Initiative.

Loonat, the current Mitchell's Plain Cluster Community Policing Forum chairperson, said high ranking officers could “easily earn salaries of up to R80 000”.

“That is exorbitant. Constable salaries start at R8 000. Ten on-the-ground staffers could be employed from that one pay check,” he told News24.

“Yes, they perform a dangerous and critical service within our communities. But when it comes down to the bottom line, we need more men on the ground.”

According to a SJC report on policing in Khayelitsha, Camps Bay – one of the safest areas in the province with a population of 4 592 – had 959 police personnel per 10 000 people. This compared to Harare, one of the poorest areas in the Western Cape with a population of 173 342, which had 111 per 100 000 people.

“The numbers say it all,” Loonat said. “A sustainable solution to the limited number of men in blue needs to be found.

“Some areas need more manpower than others. It is of utmost importance to get more people into the ranks so that officers can be assigned to where they are needed most.”

Performance assessments should determine salary increases and not years of experience, Loonat insisted.

“Hard work, arrests and convictions should be rewarded with bonuses and incentives. This will motivate the force to work harder and smarter instead of choosing corruption to fill their pockets.

“Policemen are there to protect and serve. It is a calling... but the salaries currently being issued to those higher up need to be relooked at.

“The only numbers that should matter now is the number of cops on our streets.”

Read more on:    sjc  |  police  |  cape town
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