Parliament on building trust between SAPS and communities

Police Committee says incidents in Rosettenville could be avoided by building trust between SAPS and communities

The Portfolio Committee on Police believes trust between the South African Police Service (SAPS) and communities can only be strengthened through adequate and timeous response, as well as the provision of basic police services by local police stations.

“Cluster and Station Commanders should ensure that the trust between the community and SAPS is strengthened through proactive steps, such as constant visible policing, the deployment of specialised units, better coordination of crime intelligence units and improved relations with Community Policing Forums, as well as improving response time to crime complaints by members of the public,” said Committee Chairperson Mr Francois Beukman.

Mr Beukman was responding with concern to the inadequate action by some stations and clusters in response to incidents in Gauteng’s Rosettenville and Pretoria West. Their response has been criticised in some sectors and the cluster and station management of Rosettenville SAPS will appear before the Committee on Wednesday, 22 February 2017 at 9h00.

Mr Beukman said that the Committee’s concern over dwindling levels of trust in the police was further confirmed by the recent crime survey released by Statistics South Africa last week, which indicates weakening levels of trust by the public in the police service. Mr Beukman said it was imperative for the national management of police to address this as a matter of urgency.

“We cannot allow citizens’ trust in law enforcement agencies to erode any further. It is patently clear that urgent interventions are needed at certain police stations in the Republic,” said Mr Beukman.

The Committee further calls on police management to prioritise the vetting of all cluster and station commanders. The Committee urged SAPS and relevant entities to ensure they conduct proper investigations of all complaints of police misconduct and alleged corruption.

Police cluster and station commanders should ensure that crime in their respective precincts is addressed, especially those relating to contact crime, illegal firearms and drugs.

As part of the Committee’s proactive oversight exercise, Mr Beukman will be visiting the Cape Winelands Cluster in Paarl today, 20 February 2017.

Source: Government of South Africa