The 130 new police vehicles in Gauteng will improve service delivery, help police reach crime scenes and also help combat crimes such as armed robberies of residences, businesses and hijacking, says National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega.
For the current financial year, Phiyega said they have ordered 5 009 vehicles at a cost of nearly R1.2 billion, nationally.
To date they have received 3 894 vehicles – with the rest to be received by end of February.
From this order, 1 080 are for Gauteng and about 70% of the vehicles have already been received.
According to the National Police Commissioner, a total of 55 police stations will benefit from this distribution in the province.
Speaking at the official hand over of the new cars on Wednesday, Phiyega said these vehicles will also ensure that police response teams are at the scene quickly, after they are called in, or when responding to incidents detected by the surveillance cameras, among others.
“This aims to ensure that there is enough police visibility and that police response to serious and violent crimes is improved. Police need all necessary resources to tackle the challenge of crime in our society,” she said on Wednesday.
She urged communities to report abuse of these new cars, while urging police to guard them against unlawful acts.
Annually SAPS retire about 1 500 vehicles or which nearly 20% of are as a result of accidents.
“Our analysis shows that the primary cause of vehicle collisions is not so much lack of training. It has everything to do with attitude of the driver,” Phiyega said.
Various measures have been put in place to address this. These include the advance driving lessons for police officer at various facilities around country.
A vehicle record system which shows driver behaviour has also been put in place. This picks up speeding, harsh breaking and other elements.
“There is insurance cover provided by the state for accidents but those who are found to be negligent, we hit them in the pocket where it hurts the most,” she said, adding that the state is currently recovering some R10 million from about 400 employees.
To ensure that vehicles are well maintained – SAPS have also employed and trained 130 artisans who will do servicing and vehicle repairs. Another 30 posts will be advertised soon.