Saturday, October 24, 2009

2,944 police firearms lost this year

Between expensive hotel stays and shopping for luxury homes, the munista of police and his chief haven't got time to y'know, do actual work. On top of the tens of thousands of lost/stolen/sold firearms from the preceding years comes word that at least another almost 3000 POLICE firearms are now in the hands of criminals. Disarming the law-abiding stills sounds like a good plan does it not, Gun Free SA? Any idea how you will "gun free" criminals?

After an enormous 30% rise in South African Police Service (SAPS) firearms losses between 2007 and 2008, parliament's portfolio committee on police has heard early figures for 2009 that suggest that the outlook has deteriorated further still.

The committee heard that 2,944 SAPS firearms had been lost or stolen by the end of September this year - equal to approximately three firearms lost or stolen from each station in the country.

This figure also suggests that we will see a massive rise in lost or stolen firearms in 2008/09, considering that 2,507 were lost in 2008. This in turn constituted a 30.4% year on year rise, since 1 923 weapons were lost in 2007.

This dire state of affairs is completely unacceptable. Members of the public are finding it extremely difficult to obtain firearm licences, and are expected to comply with strict firearm legislation, whilst it appears that the SAPS officials and stations are losing their firearms in droves. How is it even possible to lose a firearm? There should be serious consequences for lost or stolen SAPS firearms as these could easily fall into the wrong hands, further exacerbating crime.

Earlier this year the DA also obtained information that revealed that the number of officers leaving the Police Service who have failed to hand in service weapons has increased significantly over the past two years. In 2006, just seven officers failed to hand in their service weapons; in 2007 that number had increased to 40; last year it rose again to 65.

The SAPS also admitted that while they recovered 106% of lost civilian firearms (being all those lost in the past year, plus 6% of those lost in previous years) while only recovering 15% of lost SAPS firearms. This makes a lie of President Zuma's claim that the country is awash with both civilian and police firearms. It is the lost Police weapons that are in the hands of South Africa's criminals.

All this points to a decided lack of control over firearms. This is a matter that must urgently be placed on the agenda so that rectifying measures can be made. I will be writing to the Minister of Police in this regard.

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

3 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

Listen, if their "brains" weren't in their head they'd "lose" that too...

Islandshark said...

What brain?

Anonymous said...

This guy had the right idea. That's how an African would blow his brains out!