Plan to cut num­ber of COPS UN­DER FIRE

Gov­ern­ment’s pro­posal heav­ily crit­i­cised as po­lice ad­mit to los­ing war against crime

Move! - - ISSUE - By Sello Mo­ra­pedi

THE re­cent pro­posal by the gov­ern­ment to re­duce the num­ber of po­lice of­fi­cers by 3 000 has come un­der fire as many feel the move will af­fect the liveli­hood of South Africans as crime con­tin­ues to es­ca­late in the coun­try.

THE PRO­POSAL BY SAPS

The Po­lice’s 2017/18 An­nual Per­for­mance Plan re­vealed that the num­ber of of­fi­cers will de­crease be­tween 2019 and 2020.

The re­port claims that the po­lice force does not ex­pect the re­duc­tion in the num­ber of of­fi­cers to have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact in its per­for­mance in the fight against crime.

How­ever, the pro­posed cut down of of­fi­cers came as a sur­prise to many as the po­lice re­cently ad­mit­ted to los­ing the war against crime.

WHAT THE PO­LICE SAY

The po­lice min­istry pointed out that the pro­posed cut­ting down of po­lice of­fi­cers is an is­sue within the SAPS and that they are op­pos­ing the plan.

”Na­tional gov­ern­ment is in the process of cut­ting down on costs and gov­ern­ment ex­pen­di­ture, which has also af­fected the SAPS, but we are work­ing to­wards the as­sur­ance that no po­lice of­fi­cers are go­ing to be cut as we al­ready do not have enough of­fi­cers,” says Vuyo Mhaga, spokesper­son for po­lice min­is­ter Fik­ile Mbalula.

“Our job and re­spon­si­bil­ity within the SAPS is to pro­tect and serve the peo­ple of South Africa which is why we are go­ing to en­sure the cut­ting down of our of­fi­cers does not hap­pen and al­ter­na­tive mea­sures are put into place.”

Vuyo says they are cur­rently in talks with Trea­sury and a way for­ward is be­ing pro­posed to en­sure all par­ties in­volved find a so­lu­tion and the in­ter­ests of the gov­ern­ment and the pub­lic are all met.

IN­CREASE IN PUB­LIC VI­O­LENCE

Speak­ing to a lo­cal pub­li­ca­tion, Jo­han Burger from the In­sti­tute for Se­cu­rity Stud­ies, said he found it strange that there was a pro­posal to cut down the num­ber of po­lice of­fi­cers given the high crime rate in the coun­try.

“We’ve had an in­crease in vi­o­lent crimes in the last four years. All in­di­ca­tors are that th­ese will in­crease. We’ve also seen a rise in pub­lic vi­o­lence in the last decade,” he said.

He also stated that de­tec­tives were strug­gling to keep up with cases as they lacked ca­pac­ity.

De­spite the ris­ing crime rate in the coun­try, there is a pro­posal to re­duce the num­ber of po­lice of­fi­cers as part of the gov­ern­ment’s bid to cut down on costs

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