SA Police Service turnaround strategy nabs 466 suspects in three months

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The South African Police Service (SAPS) Acting National Commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane says police have made 466 arrests in areas where national management interventions were implemented between November 2015 and January 2016.

Briefing the Parliamentary committee tasked with providing oversight on police, the Acting National Commissioner said this and other outcomes were indicative that nationwide police station interventions have made a positive impact on service delivery and officer morale.

The briefing comes after police identified a number of police stations where issues of underperformance and high crime volumes needed to be turned around as identified in the 2015/ 16 annual performance plan.
“Four hundred and sixty six (466) people have been arrested solely because of the work of the management interventions,” Phahlane said.

Zooming in on the arrests per policing area, the Acting National Commissioner said of the 466 arrests, 91 were in Olievenhoutbosch, 85 in Rustenburg, 51 in Durban Central, 46 in Sandton, another 46 in Roodepoort and 48 in Hillbrow.

Other areas where arrests were made include Pretoria Central with 35 arrests, Dobsonville 22, Temba 19, Linden 12 and Makhado 11.
“If the national management intervention teams did not go to those stations, these people would still be roaming the streets of the country so we believe it is achieving the goal,” he said.

As part of the turnaround strategy, 63 underperforming police stations were identified as needing top management interventions, while provincial intervention teams conducted visits to 212 additional underperforming stations.

Station commanders, visible policing and detective commanders ensured the implementation of recovery plans at 865 stations.

The strategy focused on a number of areas, including:
– Improving and measuring the management of case dockets by focusing on the correct application of the basic principles of investigation of crime and case docket management;
– Conducting audits of the crime administration system versus case dockets to continuously update and capture actual performance;
– Police analysing all outstanding dockets, focusing on outstanding serious crimes to ensure that cases are properly investigated;
– Improving the integrity of the wanted suspects’ database and trace and arrest confirmed wanted suspects;
– Ensuring that there is effective and efficient management of crime scenes and exhibits to improve crime investigations; and
– Reducing the workload of detectives and enhance their focus on the investigation of serious crimes by reintroducing the uniform investigation capability to deal with less serious crimes.

The engagements with station management, the Acting Commissioner said, lasted for a duration of five days on average at each station.

Phahlane said progress was made in reducing the number of old dockets. Nationally, police managed to decrease dockets by 23.3% over a three month period – from 125 417 in November 2015 down to 102 683 in January 2016.

The province that recorded the highest decrease was KwaZulu-Natal, where an average of 43.2% was achieved.
“We believe we are on track. We believe this is work to be continued during the management intervention environment but it must not only be the business of management intervention.
“We want to build capacity to be able to sustain this through the back-to-basics approach that we are advancing,” said Phahlane.