Andrew Louw, MPL
DA Northern Cape: Provincial Leader
The Democratic Alliance in the Northern Cape will be submitting parliamentary questions to the MEC of Transport, Safety and Liaison, Patrick Mabilo. This comes after a report by the Public Service Commission (PSC) revealed that detective services in the Northern Cape, much like in other provinces, are being hampered by a dire lack of training, staff and resources.
According to the PSC report, there are still a number of detective officers in the Northern Cape who have yet to attend the compulsory 14 Week Detective Learning Programme. This is largely attributed to a lack of relief staff to stand in when detectives go on training. As a result, not all detectives in the province have the capacity to carry out detective duties and provide efficient and quality detective services to their respective communities.
The PSC further reports that resource allocation is lacking. Adequate and reliable vehicles are said to be inhibiting detective officers from rushing to crime scenes and travelling around in search of suspects. Other examples include that at the time that the PSC investigation was conducted, 35 detectives were found to be sharing just four cellular phones at the Upington Police Station. A lack of availability of refrigerators at Upington Police Station, was further said to compromise the proper storage of DNA samples.
The DA deems training essential to ensure that cases are handled and managed properly. If the detectives fail to handle a case by the book, then the chance of it going to court, let alone succeeding in court, is highly unlikely. The same can be said for a lack of sufficient human and other resources, which also play a critical role when it comes to ensuring good conviction rates.
I will be submitting parliamentary questions to the MEC to determine the following:
* The number of detectives in the Northern Cape, how many of them are fully trained, and where they are based;
* The amount spent on detective training courses over the past three years;
* The number of vehicles allocated to the detective services and where they are based;
* The process used to determine resource allocation.
As long we don’t have well-trained and well-resourced detectives, it means that crimes are not being investigated properly, prosecutions cannot be ensured and criminals aren’t being take off the streets. It’s high time that the MEC starts leading his department from the front – he can begin by taking action on the recommendations made by the PSC.