Non-existent police station security leaves residents without much-needed protection
18 May 2021
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is appalled that 29 police stations in Gauteng have recorded 136 break-ins and robberies in the last five years, raising great concern about the ability of SAPS to ensure the safety of residents, and that despite such a high number of criminal actions, there still remains a low conviction rate compared to the number of arrests made.
This information was provided in a reply to my written question to MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko, who indicated that from the 2016/17 financial year to the 2020/21 financial year, 136 cases of robberies and break-ins were opened and valuable items worth more than R1.6 million had been stolen.
Evaton and Vosloorus police stations have recorded the highest number of 16 robberies and break-in cases each, followed by Pretoria Central with 13 cases and Dobsonville with 10 cases, while other police stations have recorded below 10 cases.
Of these cases opened, only 41 arrests have been made with four resulting in convictions.
Police stations are regarded by communities as a safe place where police officers prevent, combat, and investigate crime, while protecting and ensuring the safety of all residents. When these police stations fall victim to crime, it compromises the ability of police officers to conduct their business of ensuring the safety of residents, through regular patrolling, opening of cases, and response to emergencies.
The low conviction rate is totally unacceptable, and clearly indicates either a failure of the justice system, or the failure of the police to properly investigate these cases.
The lack of adequate investigation of criminal cases has already resulted in many cases being taken off the court roll due to a lack of sufficient evidence that assist successful prosecution.
In the DA-led Midvaal Local Municipality, tangible action has been taken to ensure improved safety for residents, with the implementation of a crime prevention strategy that involves 3000 community patrollers, working with law enforcement, to ensure the safety of residents.
The DA calls on MEC Mazibuko to immediately implement measures to mitigate the impact of these police station break-ins and robberies so that perpetrators face the full might of the law and that the safety of Gauteng residents can improve.
Issued by Michael Shackleton, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Community Safety, 18 May 2021