‘Shock figures show how deep-rooted crime is in police’

Henry

The fact that a total of 5,489 police members have been arrested for criminal offenses since the 2019‑20 financial year shows how deep criminality has taken root in the police.

Of the 5,489, 383 were due to serious crimes such as murder, rape and livestock theft.

According to dr. Pieter Groenewald, FF Plus leader, Bheki Cele, minister of police, revealed these figures to the FF Plus after a flawed information system was cited as an excuse a few weeks ago as to why the figures were not available.

“Of the 383 serious crimes for which members were arrested, 84 were for murder, 109 for robbery, 79 for rape, 29 for livestock theft, four for transit robberies and 78 for kidnapping. According to the minister, no police member has been arrested for involvement in a farm murder.”

On Tuesday, during a media conference about the recent successes of the police, Cele said that 7,000 police officers had been arrested over the past five years. According to him, only 680 were found guilty.

Cele said, however, that the focus is only on police officers who are involved in crimes and not on the good police officers who, according to him, are in the majority. He believes that the police are doing a good job and that prisons, which are 44% overcrowded, are an indication of that.

According to Groenewald, in his evasive answer in July, Cele said he was “fully aware of the serious implications” of police members’ involvement in crime and especially of its impact on the public’s trust in the police.

He said it was essential that a system “must be put in place” to collect, check and verify all the information about police involvement in crime.

“It appears that it has now been done after the FF Plus insisted that the answers be provided before September 30 (this month). It is unacceptable that pressure had to be put on the minister before a system was introduced to regularly update the extent of criminality among police members through a database.”

Groenewald believes that without detailed information no preventive measures can be introduced to prevent crime or deal with it effectively.

“These figures clearly show that there is a major problem with criminality in the police and the public cannot be blamed if they increasingly lose confidence in a police service that is run by incompetent persons.”