Calls for comprehensive investigation into stolen firearms

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The Portfolio Committee on Police has called for a comprehensive investigation into the theft of firearms from Norwood Police Station.

The committee made the call during a visit to the police station on Friday, as part of its two-day oversight visit to Gauteng to assess the province’s plans to fight crime.

This comes after a report revealed that 158 firearms had been stolen from the police station’s evidence room in 2021.

“The theft of 158 firearms from the police station is disconcerting, especially in light of the drive to rid the streets of illegal firearms. The committee highlighted the need for a comprehensive investigation to uncover the perpetrators of the theft to ensure accountability,” committee chairperson, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, said.

The committee welcomed the swift action by Gauteng Police Commissioner, Elias Mawela, in dealing with the firearms theft at the station.

It also applauded the appointment of a new management team at the station, saying it is hopeful that they will assist in getting to the bottom of the matter.

Intensify operations aimed at retrieving stolen firearms

The committee highlighted the need to intensify operations aimed at retrieving the stolen firearms to prevent them from being used in committing crimes in the country.

It also underscored the need for multidisciplinary law enforcement agencies to collaborate with the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations in order to speedily finalise investigations.

The committee further urged the South African Police Service (SAPS) management to earnestly work towards resolving the challenges at the Central Firearms Registry (CFR), which continues to face various challenges.

“A functional CFR is central to ensuring that the SAPS can manage the firearms regime in the country. The committee will continue to focus its oversight over the CFR to ensure optimum functionality,” Joemat-Pettersson said.

On Saturday, the committee visited Tembisa Police Station, which has repeatedly appeared among the list of top 30 police stations where most crimes are reported.

During the visit, the committee interacted with the Provincial Commissioner, station management team, and community policing forums.

“The committee remains of the view that stable and well-led police stations, which collaborate with community policing forums, are the foundations necessary to defeat the scourge of crime in Gauteng,” Joemat-Pettersson said.