Lack of resources cripples policing‚ study finds
Sipho Mabena | 2017-03-23 13:50:36.0
Image by: Gallo
Gauteng’s major policing clusters are grappling with detective and vehicle shortages resulting in low staff morale‚ which in turn cripples the police’s ability to adequately serve the community.
This according to the findings of Gauteng Legislature’s portfolio committee on community safety’s second Focus Intervention Study presented during the committee’s community outreach sitting in Atterdigeville‚ West of Pretoria‚ on Thursday.
According to SA Police Services’ Resources Allocation Guide (RAG)‚ the Ivory Park cluster is supposed to have 300 personnel but the station has 266 personnel which negatively affects crime fighting.
The station also grapples with a dire shortage of vehicles‚ with four vehicles serving eight policing sectors. This meant one car serves two sectors‚ which are large for a single vehicle.
“According to the RAG‚ the station has to have 57 vehicles but it has 37 vehicles. The station applies for new vehicles on yearly basis‚ however‚ the response does not indicate whether or not the application is being considered‚” the reported noted.
The report noted that there were serious challenges at the auxiliary garage‚ where much needed vehicles languish in the garage for up to three months.
In Douglasdale police station‚ the committee found that the RAG requires that the police station has 235 personnel but it currently has 227‚ with the majority of shortages recorded in the critical detectives unit and in the support services.
The report noted with concern that that the shortage of detectives resulted in the case overload on the available personnel‚ which in turn affects the quality of investigations.
“In terms of support services‚ the members are left with having to do work for two to three people. This often leads to low morale of employees‚” the report states.
The police station does not have cells‚ has poor security and inadequate office space.
Randfontein police station‚ which serves five sectors‚ has 17 vacancies in its detective unit and three in its visible policing unit.
Pretoria West cluster‚ which serves three sectors‚ has 181 members whilst the RAG requires 196‚ with a shortage of six vehicles.
“[The] shortage of vehicles has a negative impact on the response time to complaints and sector policing‚” the report notes.
The report concluded that responses from all eight sampled police stations pointed to a relationship between policing performance and resourcing.
“Of concern is that sector policing is designed with the aim of increasing police visibility within communities‚ with the objective of discouraging crime.
“However‚ with the current state of affairs‚ it can be deduced that crime prevention by police will remain an objective difficult to attain because enabling factors are not in place‚” the report concluded.
It laments that these challenges could lead to the community losing confidence in the police due to the inability to respond to their complaints and calls.
– TMG Digital/The Times