Friday, July 31, 2009

20 key challenges for new police chief

Pigs loaded and ready to fly. He won't manage even ONE item on the list.

'Mr Zuma, are top jobs for your friends?' - IOL - Opposition parties said on Wednesday that President Jacob Zuma had made a big mistake in appointing a political ally with no professional crime-fighting experience as the new national police commissioner.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has set out below twenty of the most pressing issues that need to be addressed as a matter of urgency, by new Police Commissioner Bheki Cele.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) is currently defined by two things; first, the fight against crime and second, the institutional efficiency of the organisation and the conduct of its members. Ultimately, Commissioner Cele's term in office will be measured against the degree to which SAPS reduces crime, but if he is to succeed in that fight, he needs to turn around the structure and organisational culture that currently defines the SAPS.

If he successfully addresses these twenty challenges, he would have gone a long way to addressing both these challenges.

1. Reduce crime in South Africa. South Africa continues to have one of the highest violent crime rates in the world and corruption is rife. Reducing crime is the ultimate benchmark against which the performance of the Commissioner will be measured.

2. He must resign as a member of the ANC National Executive Committee with immediate effect to show that he is willing to act as an independent police commissioner, accountable to the South African public and not Luthuli House. The Commissioner must be independent.

3. Ensure that 2008 crime statistics are released immediately, and ensure their regular release thereafter. The last information on crime statistics was for the period April 2007 to March 2008, which means that our present statistics are well over a year out of date. The SAPS must become a model of transparency.

4. Fill all senior positions urgently. The Deputy National Commissioners of Human Capital Development and Legal and Financial Administration Services, Divisional Commissioner of Crime Intelligence and the Executive Director of the Independent Complaints Directorate must be appointed urgently.

5. Eliminate vacancies in the Forensic Science Laboratories (FSL) so that the serious backlogs in crime detection can be addressed. The latest data from the Minister of Police shows that the countrywide backlog has increased by 93.8% between June 2007 and January 2009.

6. Reduce the number of policepersons who do not have a driver's license. The number of SAPS members without driver's licences currently stands at 5 200.

7. Ensure that the supply of bulletproof vests is adequate. The Auditor-General notes that there were deficiencies in this regard in eight of the nine provinces sampled. Furthermore, the vests in use are heavy and archaic and should be replaced with more modern lighter ones.

8. Review supply chain management to ensure that each police station is adequately resourced. For example, according to SAPS top structures, there are sufficient bullet proof vests, yet not all operational SAPS officers have one.

9. Overhaul 10111 call centres. The Auditor-General estimates that 79% of emergency calls are abandoned while on hold or abandoned before being answered.

10. Ensure that recommendations by the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) are implemented - the current compliance rate stands at 58%. It is necessary to amend section 53 of the SAPS Act to guarantee that the ICD has the necessary powers to fulfil its function of oversight of the South African Police Service.

11. Increase the number of SAPS members to 250 000 by 2012. This would give us a ratio of one SAPS member for every 243 citizens. The current police to population ratio barely meets the minimum UN standard of 1:400. It is essential each new officer receives top quality training.

12. Increase the number of SAPS detectives significantly - by a further 30 000 to improve criminal investigations.

13. Bring back the specialised units disbanded by the previous Commissioner. The DA welcomes the recent decision to reinstate Family Violence, Child Abuse and Sexual Offences units, and it makes sense to now look at reintroducing other specialised units such as the South African Narcotics Bureau.

14. Ensure Hawks have a full staff complement. Some 800 staff members are waiting to be vetted in order to serve on the Hawks unit. They must be given their accreditation urgently.

15. Ensure that all police stations are fully compliant with Domestic Violence Legislation and regulations.

16. Improve customer service and ensure that members of the public are greeted by friendly, competent, literate and efficient police officers.

17. Reduce the expenditure on VIP units and make certain that only those that need VIP protection receive it. It is also vitally important that the ‘blue light brigades' abide by the law and that errant officers face disciplinary action for aggressive and dangerous behaviour.

18. Oversee that SAPS members receives training that meets international benchmarks
, and undergo refresher courses. Current officers' performances need to be improved through skills training, fitness tests and performance management systems.

19. Ensure that recommendations by the Auditor-General are properly reviewed and implemented
, and that police units and stations are audited regularly.

20. Reduce the number of weapons lost by or stolen from the SAPS. In 2008/09 2507 weapons were lost or stolen, a 30% increase from the previous year.

Statement issued by Dianne Kohler Barnard MP, Democratic Alliance shadow minister of police.

4 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

the DA is once again farting against the wind...

One cannot negotiate with terrorists..this cele creature of ugliness is nothing but a common racist criminal who has never seen the inside of a police station...

Our time is wasted in expecting the anc syndicate to do ANY good for ANYONE, but their own cadres in arms...


Anonymous said...

He can sing and dance, though. And those hats!

Exzanian said...

The list supplied by the DA shadow minister reveals that she has applied her mind and has even supplied this maverick cowboy with the roadmap. Do you think he will follow it? Nah, he's too busy spouting rhetorical bullshit. "Yas, we will jes fight crime, no time to kiss the ass of the crime, we will jes fight it, finish and klaar"

AMB said...

He'll be too busy deciding which car to buy to actually wek. And BTW - why release 2008 crime stats? Does anyone still believe them???