Minister Allen conducts unannounced visits to SAPS parades along the West Coast
Between 5 and 6 June 2023, Western Cape Minister of Police Oversight and Community Safety, Reagen Allen conducted unannounced visits at the St Helena Bay, Saldanha and Vredenburg South African Police Service’s (SAPS) stations.
These visits stem from the recent crime statistics that were released just over a week ago, and on information that certain SAPS stations are not conducting their morning and afternoon parades and handovers according to SAPS’ standard operating procedures (SOP).
When officers report for duty, the SAPS shift commander should follow a strict SOP, which amongst others include the following:
- Conducting a parade where operational members are tasked and briefed,
- Ensuring that all members are sober, neat, dressed accordingly and have the necessary and required equipment,
- Inspect the occurrence book,
- Conducting an inspection of firearms,
- Relaying crime and any other critical information obtained from the previous shift,
- Indicating to members what their duties and or postings are and what is expected from them,
- Relaying specific information about patrol areas and
- Conducting an inspection of the holding cells.
Minister Reagen Allen said: “I was pleasantly surprised to arrive at the Vredenburg SAPS station at 05h45 in the morning, and find that the shift commander, Captain Kruger along with all his operational officers have already arrived for duty, which commenced at 6am. As I did on the morning, I once again extend my gratitude to the captain for the professional manner in which he conducted the parade. He epitomised what shift commanders should be doing during these parades. Regrettably, at another station I visited in the area, the shift commander was not as punctual, nor had all the SAPS members reported for duty. Those who reported for duty, did so after their shift should have commenced.”
“Upon a general oversight visit to the St Helena Bay SAPS station, the severe under-resourcing once again reared its ugly head. This station has a police-to-population ratio of one officer for every 498 residents. This is very alarming, particularly since it is one of the smaller towns along the West Coast. Further to this, there is an urgent need for critical maintenance to be done to various parts of the building,” added Minister Reagen Allen.
Minister Reagen Allen continued: “I will be engaging the Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Thembisile Patekile about the needs of the St Helena Bay station. I will request that the one station where the parade did not occur and where I witnessed a lethargic attitude urgently be attended too. All station commanders should note that I will on a random basis visit their parades, as this sets the tone for how officers will conduct themselves during their shift.”
“It is critical that at all times, a professional SAPS service is rendered and experienced. As the Western Cape Government, we want to ensure that our oversight leads to better services from SAPS. Once SAPS is devolved to a capable provincial government such as ours, we will ensure that the standards set by Captain Kruger and others like him are maintained and improved upon,” concluded Minister Reagen Allen.