Popcru wants more protection for SAPS as it laments increase in cops being killed

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SAPS officers
SAPS officers
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  • Popcru has expressed concern over the increasing number of officers being killed.
  • The union held a two-day central executive committee meeting on Thursday and Friday.
  • According to Popcru, there is a need to formulate a protective and preventative strategy that includes an inclusive approach.

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) has expressed concern over the increasing number of police officers killed, saying they were tired of burying colleagues and attending annual memorial services.

The union expressed its concern during a two-day central executive committee (CEC) meeting held on Thursday and Friday under the theme "30 years of Working-Class Consciousness, Defending Workers Rights and Building a Self-Sustainable Union".

According to the union, a concrete plan and measures were needed in ensuring the men and women in blue were protected.

"As it stands, there are high possibilities that a police station is being attacked or an officer is losing their life at the hands of criminal elements daily," the union said in a statement on Saturday.

Besides police killings, the union also raised several points such as Covid-19 vaccination, collective bargaining and state capture.

READ | There's something wrong with SA where killing police officers is the norm: Cele

News24 earlier reported that Minister of Police Bheki Cele, speaking during a fallen officer's funeral, said there was total silence in the country when officers were killed.

"There are countries where if you bury three police officers in a single weekend, there would be real and loud outcries. Here this is becoming normal. There is something wrong with us South Africans... something needs to be fixed in us South Africans. The system needs to be fixed and tightened against criminals.

"We are too soft on criminals. South Africa needs to change and say, 'not in our name,' where criminals are better than the victims of crime," Cele said.

Recent killings

In September, News24 reported that a 35-year-old sergeant was gunned down in Eerste River after allegedly being hijacked. He was shot in the neck and transported to a nearby hospital, where he died.

In addition, in the same week, the publication reported that a 41-year-old off-duty police officer was shot dead in Parow, Cape Town.

ALSO READ | Cele visits family of slain Tembisa cop

According to Popcru, widows of deceased police officers found it hard to survive after losing their partners as the death allowances did not cover their essential needs.

The union also lamented the "meagre" danger allowance officers received.

Popcru further said there was a need to urgently formulate a "protective and preventative strategy that included an inclusive approach".

"There must be improved exertions to better understand why police officers continue to be killed in South Africa, as well as to formulate and recommend preventative, interventionist, and protective strategies and measures to reduce the number of officers being killed yearly. 

"A policing indaba is of paramount importance to streamline and reshape the criminal justice system for the sake of accountability and, how the system works as a whole inclusive of other departments such as justice, prosecution and correctional services, and plans are afoot to conclude its realisation," the union concluded.

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