Tuesday, September 29, 2009

R536mil spent on sick cops

If there is no-one available to investigate cases, if those few that we have succumb to the stress and workload the job brings in the world's crime hellhole and others just take leave because they can, is it any wonder we have a less than 10% conviction rate? The system is broken, it is time to bring back the dedicated task units and expand their capabilities.

South African Police Service (SAPS) members on sick-leave cost the taxpayer about R536-million last year, it emerged on Monday.

According to SAPS's latest annual report, 1.2 million work days were lost through sick-leave, Freedom Front Plus spokesperson Pieter Groenewald said.

Sick-leave costs alone amounted to R387,711-million and permanent and temporary incapacity leave amounted to R148,691-million.

"What is more worrying is that the category where sick leave appears the most is among the highly-skilled members and the second among the skilled members' category," he said.

Highly-skilled members took 645 730 days off and skilled members 430 788 days.

"This is exactly the category of members who have to investigate crime and form the core of the police service."

The figures pointed to a more serious problem in the police service, which indicated that members in these categories were either over-worked or were placed under too much pressure and tension.

Part of the pressure and tension was that some members were not properly trained for the tasks they had to fulfil.

The police service had to undertake an urgent investigation and come up with solutions for this situation, Groenewald said.

According to the annual report, 91.5 percent of the sick leave was supported by a medical certificate and the average number of days sick leave per member was eight. - Sapa

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