SAPS cannot keep up with growing population, one police officer for every 427 citizens


The SA Police Service’s 2024/25 Annual Performance Plan, tabled two weeks ago, revealed that the force cannot keep up with the country’s growing population. For every 427 South Africans, there is just one police officer.

It said the SAPS has for a number of years faced the prospect of an ever-increasing population versus a steadily declining staff establishment.

The United Nations standard states that there should be one police officer for every 220 people in the country.

“This has several negative effects on the organisation as it struggles to keep pace with the increasing demand for policing services, an increasing crime rate and the effects of an over-stretched policing capability.”

“As the population increased from an estimated 54 million in 2014, to 62 million in 2022, so the actual workforce that was deployed at the frontline to prevent, investigate and combat crime, uphold and enforce the law and protect and secure the people of the country and their property, declined from 152 977, in 2014/15, to 140 048, in 2021/22,” the report said.

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