SAPS Western Cape Annual Report: Honest Reporting Welcomed
Statement by Dan Plato, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety
I welcome the tabling of the Western Cape South African Police Service’s (SAPS’) Annual Report for the 2014/15 financial year in the Western Cape Legislature today.
It presents itself to be a detailed and honest reflection on policing service delivery, constraints and successes.
The information presented in the Annual Report will be closely scrutinised by the Department of Community Safety as part of our oversight mandate over policing in the province. Issues of concern will be raised with the SAPS management in our continued efforts to ensure improvement in the quality of safety service delivery the SAPS are able to provide to those living in the province.
I support the whole of society approach mentioned by Acting Provincial Police Commissioner, Major General Thembisile Patekile today in order to successfully tackle our increasing levels of crime.
The Western Cape’s gang and drug problem will not be rooted out without effective policing in our communities or the support of our communities.
Similar support is necessary to help prevent those who attack our men and women in blue and to identify those responsible after attacks on and murder of police officers occur.
The almost doubling of the number of attacks against police officers, from 368 to 645 incidents between 2013/14 and 2014/15 is of great concern. I am calling on our communities to work with our officers and not against them.
The Department of Community Safety will continuously look at ways to help improve the relationship between the police and the communities they serve.
As we head into the annual 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children period at the end of the month, a particular focus is drawn to the 265 incidents of non-compliance by the SAPS in terms of the Domestic Violence Act. I support ongoing efforts in reducing non-compliance by the SAPS and thank them for their honest reporting in this regard.
According to the National SAPS Annual Report for the same period, at least 4 provinces reported zero cases of non-compliance. The other four provinces reported incidences between a single case and 18 cases in total. This raises suspicions on the amount of under-reporting of cases by SAPS.
Some of the key indicators which my Department will continue to monitor and which I will continue to lobby for more operational resources and successes include:
- Additional resources – the Western Cape is still1 500 officers short and the SAPS currently do not meet the minimum 98% staffing requirement. This will require constant updates from National Government on recruitment, enlistment, training and development to ensure enough boots on the ground to adequately service the entire population.
- The mental wellbeing of our officers - The increase in suicide among off-duty police officers brings to the fore the mental health of our officers both on-duty and off-duty. Our officers work under extreme circumstances and SAPS management will need to ensure the necessary support is offered to those officers dealing with psychological challenges as a result of their working environment.
- Too many illegal firearms on our streets - At least 3 361firearms, almost 10 guns a day, were recovered and seized over the past year. This is a welcome result of increased policing activity but also a worrying reality of the accessibility of guns in our communities, and the destructive havoc they wreak. Firearms are the weapon of choice in 37% of murders and 84% of attempted murders in the province. The situation cannot continue unabated.
- Efforts against illegal shebeens – maintaining of the database, cases opened, the almost half a million litres (456 838 litres) confiscated and almost quarter of a million litres (212 644) destroyed – shows that much more work needs to be done as alcohol is considered a catalyst for many of our violent contact crimes such as murder and domestic violence.
Safety is everyone’s responsibility and I call on our communities in the province to work with the police, and to assist the police as they serve and safe-guard our communities. We all need to play our part to address the increased levels of crime in our communities.
Spokesperson for Minister Plato
Cell: 079 694 1113