Police recruitment strategy welcomed, convicted officers still a concern

Dan Plato, MPP

Western Cape Minister of Community Safety

I welcome the South African Police Services (SAPS) National Commissioner, General Riah Phiyega’s, new recruitment strategy as a step in the right direction towards the professionalisation of the SAPS.

Increased consultation and cooperation with the community and organisations such as the Community Policing Forums will assist the police in ensuring that no one with previous convictions or fraudulent qualifications slips through the process.

The National Cabinet-ordered audit into criminals within the police ranks last year revealed that 1448 police officers had criminal records nationally, with at least 140 police officers in the Western Cape with criminal records.

Convicted criminals within the police service make up a very small number of the men and women serving tirelessly to protect our communities and give the many hardworking and capable police officers a bad name.

I will be asking the Provincial Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Arno Lamoer, to account for exactly how many police officers have criminal records in the Western Cape, what crimes they are guilty of, as well as what he is going to do about criminals working in the police service.

The SAPS in the Western Cape is under severe pressure and the service desperately needs able, qualified and well-trained officers to serve the province. The quality of training that police members undergo influences the quality of investigations they undertake, evidence they collect, as well as in turn the successful conviction of perpetrators in court.

It is important for every person in the Western Cape to have complete faith in every serving member of the SAPS.

The SAPS has to lead by example, ensuring that every member, both future and present, is an ambassador to the uniform they wear, cleared from criminal convictions and fraud, and in general beyond reproach.

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