More than two thirds of murdered police officers were killed while responding to complaints, says Police Minister Nathi Nhleko.
Nhleko was addressing Parliament on the recent spike in the number of officers being killed, which is at 60 since January.
A list compiled by the ministry of the different causes of police deaths last year revealed that:
– The highest number of officers were killed while attending to complaints such as robberies, hijacking or cash-in-transit heists, at 45.7%.
– The second highest cause of police deaths, at 14.2%, was due to what the ministry described as “random killings”.
– The third highest cause of their deaths, at 11.4%, was when officers were arresting a suspect, or when a suspect was evading an arrest.
– Officers killed while conducting searches of persons and motor vehicles was at 5.7%.
– Officers killed while attending to domestic violence complaints or pursuing suspects was also at 5.7%.
– Around 2.9% of officers were killed while escorting prisoners to their cells and during attacks on police stations, Nhleko said.
The 60 officers who had been killed so far this year would have been responsible for the safety and protection of 21 480 people.
These killings were not only robbing society of protectors and helpers, but the country was also being robbed of the investments it had made in each member, Nhleko said.
A National Tactical Response Plan has since been implemented to assess and investigate the circumstances of all the slain officers, he said.
This was after President Jacob Zuma’s request on Sunday for an immediate plan to be taken to stem the killings.
Zuma was speaking at the SA Police Service’s national commemoration for officers who have been killed since April last year, held at the Union Buildings. News24