The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) on Tuesday called for an overhaul of SAPS management to better combat crime in South Africa‚ recommending senior officers being deployed to police stations and bringing stability to top level appointments.
“It is noted that approximately 2‚1 million serious crimes were recorded‚ of which 1‚738‚980 were community-reported serious crimes. Further‚ the murder cases reported in this period were just below 20‚000‚ with carjacking and cash in transit heists on an increase. Our take is that despite the decreases that have been recorded against last year’s statistics‚ not much difference is being effected as the percentages have only slightly changed‚” the union said in a statement.
The SAPS should review its whole organisational structure‚ Popcru said.
“The main challenge is that the SAPS has become a Hollywood-like structure‚ in that almost everybody is acting‚ both at national structures‚ provincial structures and units across the country.
“We currently have an acting National Police Commissioner‚ an acting DPCI (Hawks) Head and an acting Crime Intelligence Head to cite a few. Between now and 2012‚ SAPS has changed the organisational structure five times‚ without any success in dealing with a significant reduction of crime.
“This has demonstrated that different leaders have come with different mandates that end up confusing the functions of police on the ground; the very people who are supposed to execute the crime prevention strategy.”
Popcru added there was also duplication at various levels of police management.
“The SAPS structure in its current form is bloated‚” it said. “As an example‚ the inspectorate and management intervention perform similar functions. Human Resource functions have been divided into three‚ with lots of senior managers. This has led to having too many bosses‚ with conflicting mandates and directives that have caused confusion and poor performance.”
Amongst various recommendations‚ Popcru asked Police Minister Fikile Mbalula to:
– urgently appoint permanent heads of all strategic positions‚ and
– beef up police stations with senior generals who can take decisions on the spot.