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85% of WC police stations undermanned: Plato

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Police stations in areas worst affected by crime in the Western Cape have police-to-population ratios more than twice the national average of one officer for every 358 people, community safety MEC Dan Plato said on Thursday.

Stations with the worst ratios include Harare (Khayelitsha) with 1:878; Nyanga (1:777); Delft (1:693); Mfuleni (1:671); Kraaifontein (1:642); Gugulethu (1:619) and Khayelitsha (1:556).

“These police to population ratios make it abundantly clear why communities are complaining about a breakdown in the relationship with the police. The limited resources are hampering visible policing efforts,” Plato said.

He pointed out that 85% of all police stations in the province are functionally under-resourced.

“Recruitment figures by the SAPS for the Western Cape show how, since 2009, there has been a steady disinvestment of manpower in the province,” he said.

According to the figures, Plato said there has been a “steady disinvestment” of manpower since 2009:
2009 – 1 967 new recruits
2010 – 383 new recruits
2011 – 912 new recruits
2012 – 234 new recruits
2013 – 222 new recruits
2014 – 549 new recruits

“Though recruitment figures increased in 2014, this is completely overshadowed by the 770 police officers who left the service in 2014/2015,” he said.

“SAPS need to properly resource the precincts hardest hit by crime, while working with the provincial and local government to create safer environments.” News24

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