12 000 officers to beef up police ranks

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The South African Police Service (SAPS) is on a recruitment drive, which is expected to boost the service with at least 12 000 more officers by the end of the year.

This was announced by the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Thandi Modise, at a media briefing of the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster on Sunday.

“The recruitment of 7 000 [officers] is in its final stages, while later in the year, the SAPS will recruit 5 000 to undergo training next year. The 7 000 are from the 2019/2020 intake, which was ready to embark on the Basic Police and Development Programme when the country was put under hard lockdown in March 2020.

“The training of this 7 000, plus an additional 3 000 made up of SAPS reservists and public service administration members, will commence in the 2022/2023 financial year.”

According to Modise, SAPS is also on a drive to recruit Bachelor of Science graduates and those from other fields of study.

“This will increase the strength of SAPS in its mandate to prevent and fight crime in communities. We will continually assess the capacity levels within SAPS and recruit accordingly to ensure that we increase the strength of the police from 180 000 officers to service the county’s population of more than 60 million people.”

The other specialist police areas are also being strengthened to fight crime within communities.

“[Units] like the Public Order Police, the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Investigating Unit, the frontline at police stations, as well as detectives will be beefed up with the apportionment of the new trainees to these much stretched units.

“Not only will the efforts of the police be bolstered to restore law and order in communities, but priority attention will also be given to the investigation of crimes against women, children, the elderly, and other vulnerable persons,” Modise said.

Intelligence

Modise said the capacity and strength of the country’s intelligence services, led by the State Security Agency (SSA), is receiving attention.

“Ministers are also re-evaluating and assessing the capacity and strength of the intelligence services to undertake surveillance and monitoring of stability in the country.

“The Report of the Expert Panel on the 2021 July unrest pointed to shortcomings in this area of work. The SSA and Crime Intelligence will ensure that critical posts are filled, which were left vacant by suspensions, resignations, promotions and deaths,” she said.

Furthermore, Modise said a forensic investigation into “all malfeasance in the agency” is underway.



“The agency has recently dismissed about four members already, who have been found guilty of fraud and corruption. The agency has also made much progress in terms of working with the Investigative Directorate to ensure that the persons who were involved in criminality are prosecuted,” she said.