The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Police Concerned By Underperformance within Detective Services

The Portfolio Committee on Police has noted the 1st quarter performance by the South African Police Service, Independent Police Investigative Directorate, and the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service, but it highlighted a concern over underperformance in programme 3: Detective Services. The committee has urged the senior management of SAPS to address the identified shortcomings to ensure that the programme meets its target.

The committee was informed that of the 24 performance targets the programme could only achieve 10 at a success rate of 47.62%. “We acknowledge the concern with attrition rate of detectives and the inability to replace those members at the same rate of attrition, but effective and succession planning by SAPS management will ensure that there are available plans in place to mitigate the high turnover rate and high docket to a detective rate,” said Mr Nocks Seabi, the Chairperson of the committee.

Of major concern for the committee was the information that there was non-compliance with taking of buccal samples from schedule 8 offenders with 81% samples taken against a target of 100%. While the committee was assured that at national and provincial level there are sufficient stock levels buccal sample, it is concerning that some police stations delayed ordering samples which let to non-achievement of targets.

The committee has also called for strategies to mitigate against the impact of load-shedding and water shortages that lead to loss of production at Forensic Science Laboratories. The committee has since its inception highlighted the centrality of evidence-based policing as a tool to effective crime fighting and strategies to mitigate against loss in production must be implemented urgently.

The perennial infrastructure challenges facing the SAPS was also highlighted as an area of concern. The committee acknowledged the assurance that the matter is being addressed by both ministers of SAPS and public works and respective senior managers. The committee will continue to monitor these engagements to ensure that solutions are implemented timeously.

Meanwhile, the committee has raised concerns over the number of SAPS-Owned firearms stolen which will lead to the proliferation of illegal firearms in our streets. The committee was informed by the SAPS that a total of 221 firearms where stolen or lost during the first quarter of the 2023/24 financial year.

Meanwhile, the committee has noted the impact of looming budget cuts on all entities in its portfolio and has called for measures to lessen the extent to which those cuts will affect the achievement of targets. Furthermore, the committee has encouraged the SAPS management to develop plans to prevent the escalation of civil litigation that has a potential of depleting their already limited resources.

Regarding the incident where police officers were recorded dragging a suspect behind a police van in Kensington, Cape Town, the committee has called for a speedy and comprehensive investigation by IPID to ensure that the matter is dealt with accordingly. The committee welcomed the assurance that the investigation is at an advanced stage with possible conclusion by the end of the month. The committee will continue to monitor the investigation.

Meanwhile, the committee has adopted a report on the proposed Parliamentary Inquiry into the July 2021 unrest. Following the visit to Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal and the decision to defer the inquiry until the South African Human Rights Commission and the Presidency’s investigations were concluded, the committee has now resolved to defer the full inquiry to the 7th Parliament as the remaining time is limited and will not allow for comprehensive consideration of issues.


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