Premier Alan Winde has rejected Police Minister Bheki Cele’s claim that the Western Cape has the most policing resources and has instead blamed the lack of training for rising crime in the province.
The Western Cape premier on Saturday said: “The National Ministry of Police issued a statement claiming that the Western Cape is the most resourced province in policing having the ‘lion’s share’ of such support.
“This statement is so misleading that our [provincial] government has no other option than to respond and set out the facts.
“Failure to respond would allow the national government to opt-out of delivering the actual policing resources which our communities still so urgently need, and which we have been demanding.”
Winde said any person who lives in the Western Cape’s crime hotspots “knows all too well” that there is not enough police support to fight crime, despite the hard work of many officers on the ground.
“It is our poorest communities, mostly in the Cape Flats, which are left with inadequate police to population ratios because of a failure by the national government to properly resource them,” said Winde.
He said the provincial department of community safety’s South African Police Service (SAPS) detective assessment report released in 2019 revealed that there was a lack of training and under-resourcing of the detective services in the Western Cape.
The premier said apart from detectives in the province having an “unacceptable caseload”, the lack of training in the police was adding to the difficulty of solving crimes.
“There is insufficient training provided to SAPS leading to cases being struck off the court role”
Winde said a study by the department in 2020 showed that 67% of visible policing members did not undergo the Domestic Violence Act five-day training course.
“It was also found that 74% of detectives at the top 20 stations for reports on domestic violence had not undergone the same training,” said Winde.
“The result of the poor training given to detectives is that 85% of cases monitored during the Docket Archive Store assessment project by the Department of Community Safety (2020) were struck off the court roll.”
Winde said poor police training had resulted in 380 dockets not arriving at court, 417 investigations were incomplete, 37 witnesses were absent in court, and 41 forensic reports were unavailable.
“The Forensic Science Laboratory is failing to process DNA for criminal cases,” said the premier.
“There is an unacceptably high backlog in the processing of DNA samples, taken from alleged criminal acts.
“According to a parliamentary reply, this is impacting over 36 000 sexual offences cases in the Western Cape.”