Wednesday, September 24, 2008

70% of arrested criminals never tried

The safety and security ministry has promised action and is urging South Africans not to concentrate on the negatives, following media reports that the South African Police Service (SAPS) is being short-changed by government.

Last week The Citizen reported that woeful shortfalls in funding and expertise had blunted the SAPS Detective Services to such an extent that almost 70% of arrested criminals never see the inside of a courtroom.

“The main thing is what we are doing now, and whether we are moving forward,” countered ministry spokesman, Trevor Bloem, when responding to the figures. He gave the assurance that the matter was “definitely receiving attention”.

Bloem said that the criminal justice system was already undergoing a “comprehensive review” under Deputy Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development Johnny de Lange.

He added that De Lange had said he would be looking at boosting the capacity of the Detective Services as part of this process.

Last week the Democratic Alliance (DA) slammed the apparent lack of progress, saying the SAPS’s investigative capacity had been “crippled” by the inadequate funding and ill-considered allocation of personnel and resources.

The DA is championing a R15- billion-a-year budget increase towards the Detective Services.

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