ATC150716: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Police on its 22 - 23 September 2014 oversight visit to the Central Firearms Registry and Police stations in and around Pretoria, in the Gauteng Province dated 19 November 2014
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Police on its 22 - 23 September 2014 oversight visit to the Central Firearms Registry and Police stations in and around Pretoria, in the Gauteng Province dated 19 November 2014
The Portfolio Committee on Police engaged in an oversight visit to the Central Firearms Registry (CFR) and police stations in Pretoria in Gauteng province on 23-24 September 2014. This was part of the Parliamentary programme and took place during Parliament’s oversight week.
1.1 Purpose of the visit
The purpose of the oversight visit was to make sure that the South African Police Service (SAPS) were compliant with all the legislation, regulations and standing orders applicable to SAPS. Another objective was to assess the levels of service delivery that the police were providing to the community. The Committee also wanted to assure itself that following a hearing on the Central Firearms Registry, the steps on a turnaround strategy were being implemented. Lastly the Committee wanted a briefing from the Auditor General of South Africa (AGSA) on the departments that it oversees.
The delegation comprised of the following people:
Members of the Committee:
Hon. F. Beukman
Hon. M. Molebatsi
Hon. J. Maake
Hon. L. Mabija
Hon. M. Mmola
Hon. M. Tsitsonga
Hon. D. Twala
Hon. D. Kohler Barnard
Hon. Z. Mbhele
Hon. M.A. Mngwango
Staff of the Committee:
Ms B Mbengo - Committee Secretary
Mr I Kinnes - Committee Content Adviser
Mr K Lobi - Committee Assistant
Mr T Mbandlanyana - Committee Researcher
Mr T Gubula - Parliamentary Communication Officer
Civilian Secretariat for Police
Mr S. Mahote - Parliamentary Liaison Officer
Mr F. Mathoma - Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate
Ms M. Mafogela - Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate
Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID)
Mr Mackenzie - Acting Head of IPID
Mr M. Tsimane - Investigations
Mr D.W. Raburabu - Investigations
South African Police Service (SAPS)
Ms L Tshayana - Brigadier: Station Commander
Mr B. Luke - Head of Flash Central Firearms Registry
Mr H.L. Matshene - Acting Section Head of Central Firearms Registry
Mr P.N Sikhakhane - Section Commander: Western & Permits Task Team Commander
Ms S.D. Kibido - Section Commander: North West and Northern Cape, Task Team
Mrs D.R. Ndukula - Section Commander: Kwazulu Natal
Mrs I.N. Joki - Colonel Support Commander
Mr M.J. Moyaba - Lt. Colonel
Mr Z.A. Makhubela - Lt. Colonel
Mr L.S Semono - Lt. Colonel
Mr M.D Dolo - Colonel
Mr S.D Majokweni - Member of the Firearms Appeal Board
Mr P.A. Mongwe - Acting Chairperson of the Firearms Appeal Board
Mrs C.D. Mashele - Member of the Firearms Appeal Board
1.3 Institutions visited
The following institutions were visited by the Committee:
- Auditor - General of South Africa, Brooklyn - 22 September 2014
- Mamelodi West Police station - 22 September 2014
- Central Firearms Registry, Pretoria - 23 September 2014
- Sunnyside Police station - 23 September 2014
2.1 Auditor General of South Africa
The Auditor - General of South Africa (AGSA) provided a briefing to the Committee on the departments and entities that the Committee oversees. It reported on the five types of audits and the meanings of each. The following were the types of findings presented by the AGSA: Unqualified with no findings; Unqualified with findings; Adverse; Qualified; and a Disclaimer. The AGSA provided a presentation to Members on how to interpret and analyse audit opinions, the initiatives and impact of key role-players on audit outcomes, the key controls and focus areas, what is required in the annual reports of audited departments and the actual audit outcomes for the 2012/13 financial year.
Some of the key controls that the AGSA focuses on relate to the leadership of departments; financial and performance management; and governance. Departments required effective leadership that is honest and implements ethical business practices. The leadership must exercise oversight over financial responsibilities, performance reporting and compliance. They should also implement effective human resource management practices; establish and communicate policies and procedures and develop action plans and monitor implementation. The leadership should establish an information and communication technology governance framework.
The financial management performance system should display proper record keeping and implement controls over daily, weekly and monthly processing and reconciling of transactions. Departments should also prepare regular, accurate and complete financial and performance reports that are supported and evidenced by reliable information.
Departments should implement appropriate risk management activities, including consideration of its risks and fraud prevention to ensure that regular risk assessments are conducted and that a risk strategy is developed.
The AGSA identified the following focus areas which they look out for during their audits:
- Material errors or omissions to Annual Financial Statements.
- Report on predetermined objectives: They select the programme that speaks most to the mandate, and audit the indicators.
- Supply chain management: They reported that there was a lot of non-compliance with departments having to supply three quotes for example.
- Human Resource Management: If there are a lot of vacancies that may be the cause of the findings.
- Information and Communication Technology: The security of these systems was always checked.
- Financial Health: The budget, revenue management and cash management.
The AGSA provided the Committee with audit outcomes for the 2012/13 financial year.
Of concern to the AGSA was the fact that there appeared to be a regression in some of the audit findings. There were important findings that indicated that the leadership of departments overseen by the Committee was stagnant or showed little progress. Financial management and performance management also showed a stagnation and this was mainly attributed to the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) and the Independent Police Investigation Directorate (IPID).
The AGSA reported that there was no progress in the 2012/13 audit in addressing risk areas as there were lots of material findings which was mainly from PSIRA. There was also a lack of consequences for poor performance and transgressions in all three departments overseen by the Committee.
Members of the Committee questioned the auditing of the crime statistics process. The AGSA reported that they did not fully audit the crime statistics, but looked at the process flow and examined 300 dockets, but could not express an opinion on the crime statistics. The Committee was concerned about what they reported and indicated that it would be taken up with the South African Police Service (SAPS).
3. Mamelodi West Police Station
3.1 Station Profile
The Committee embarked on an unannounced visit to the Mamelodi West Police station on 22 September 2014.
Mamelodi West Police station is a Brigadier - level station that was supposed to have closed because of the ageing infrastructure, but the growing population has kept the station open. The station was supposed to have relocated to a new building. The SAPS 13 stores, the cells and the building is very old and this has caused problems for the officers working at the station.
The station polices an estimated population of between 40 000-100 000 people with a staff establishment of 244. The station has 38 vacancies with ten reservists. The station commissioner has only been at the station for the last three months.
The station precinct is divided into three sectors and it contains derelict and abandoned hostels which have become one of the generators of crime in the area. There are people who have moved into the hostels and this has given rise to disputes with the local municipality.
The Denneboom train station is a station that is part of a transportation hub in the area which used to house the Railway Police. Their departure to Mamelodi East police station, has created lots of dependencies on the members of Mamelodi West police station.
The station profile indicates that contact crime such as assault with the intention to do grievous bodily harm (GBH) and common assault are quite high in the policing precinct. There has been a drop in the awareness of crime and this has led to an increase in social crime trends. While station members patrol the areas, robberies have increased in the passages opposite and next to the hostels.
The station management also deployed a police Nyala vehicle to assist with policing the robberies and they receive assistance from the community police forum. At the time of the visit, it was established that the Station Commissioner has only been at the station for the last three months.
Mamelodi West police station has a number of backyard squatters and open spaces which have been turned into ‘kraals’ which people rent.
3.2 Crime Profile
The station crime statistics show that most of the contact crime in the area is generated from the hostels area and alcohol abuse is one of the contributing factors. House and business robberies have also been high and the station experienced 365 complaints of assault GBH and 423 cases of common assault. Drug related crime increased from 355 cases in 2012/13 to 615 cases in 2013/14.
The station has also rated the following crimes: murder, attempted murder, rape, aggravated robbery, assault GBH, burglary at non-residential premises and theft of motor vehicles as the station priorities.
There was a high number of vacancies in the visible policing environment. The detective branch commander was transferred permanently and three posts were advertised in the detectives’ component. There are also three vacancies in the human resources component.
Members raised the case of police brutality as they received reports that someone was beaten up in the cells. The SAPS responded that an investigation was conducted, but that the victim did not want to continue with the complaint and regarded the matter as closed after it was amicably resolved. It was also reported to IPID.
Members then proceeded with the inspection of the various components at the station.
Members could not get most of the information they requested from the station as the offices that contained the information was either locked or closed. The Committee could not get access to the station performance chart while inspecting the records.
The station was built in 1953 and has an internship programme and a women’s network. The Committee was unable to verify this as no information was available. The station reaction time is 38 minutes with Alpha complaints taking 23 minutes and 20 seconds while Bravo complaints taking 13 minutes 45 seconds and Charlie complaints 15 minutes and 12 seconds on average.
The station has a trauma psychologist who helps with trauma debriefing officers as well as a pastor that assists. There has also been good interaction with the SAPS Inspectorate division and General Mbekela visited the station in July 2014. The SAPS management reported that they have a very good relationship with both unions, POPCRU and SAPU. The CPF is functional and meets twice a month, although the Committee was unable to verify this because there were no minutes available to inspect.
The Committee expressed its disappointment with the non-availability of information as most of the keys to the offices were unavailable. They expressed the opinion that the CPF did not seem to be functional as the last AGM was held in 2012. The Members indicated that the CPF must be strengthened as its meetings were not well attended. The offices appear to be too small and the station commander indicated that he had communicated this to the provincial office, although it has not be re-prioritised by the provincial office.
3.4.1 Community Service Centre (CSC)
The signage and accessibility to the station is good with good lighting. The physical condition of the station is not good as most of the areas visited were dirty and run down. There were also a few broken doors and the station is in need of a proper clean up. The Domestic Violence Act (DVA) registers were inspected and it was found that in 60% of the cases reported that many of those who came to complain were sent to get a protection order and no case was opened. The CSC was also too small for the number of complainants who visited the station and there was not enough space for people inside the station to move around, resulting in queues outside the CSC.
The designated firearms officer was off duty at the time of the visit and it was observed that not all members at the station have firearm licenses.
There were below ten disciplinary and grievance procedures cases lodged and one officer was discipline for being away without leave. The public complaints register was locked away and there was one outstanding complaint which required feedback.
The licences on vehicles were inspected and found that 47 of the licenses expired at the end of the month of September 2014. It was also found that the CSC required four computers and student constables required bullet proof vests.
The Victim Friendly Room was also inspected and the members were satisfied with its condition and the equipment. It has two trained auxillary lay counsellors from the Moses Mabhida NGO. There were also 20 volunteers of which three were trained together with two SAPS members.
Members of the public spoken to, indicated that the police officers in the CSC were positive and helpful. They however complained about the size of the CSC as it was always overcrowded. They were not happy with the police response time to complaints.
The Committee was unimpressed with the management of the detective component at the station. The acting Head of detectives did not have the available information required for the inspection. The detective offices were run down and required a major maintenance overhaul. All offices had the required lockable steel cabinets. There were locks on the doors and burglar guards on the windows at the station, making the detective offices secure.
There are 39 detectives and seven vacant posts which have not been filled for three years. The component requires an additional ten members. The average years of experience of detectives at the station is 20 years with average ages ranging between 30-45 years. The age of the youngest detective is 30 years and the oldest detective is 55 years.
All of the detectives (100%) completed the introductory course to investigations, while 99% completed the full detectives training core course. All of them also attended the additional specialised detective training course.
The ratio for detectives to vehicles is 3:1 and they require an additional three vehicles. The detective caseload is 2288 with each detective having a caseload of 51 cases. The smallest caseload is 22 while the biggest caseload carried by an individual detective is 158. The average detection rate is 55.8% and the average detection rate for rape is 28.39%, murder 24.04%, property crime 15.13% and assault GBH 66.67%.
The average conviction rate is 13% for rape, 34% for murder, 39% for property crime and 17% for assault GBH.
The oldest docket on the system has been opened in 1998, while 1878 cases have been closed undetected in the past financial year.
The station has five holding cells of which three were operational. One of the cells were used as a storage facility for cleaning materials and other miscellaneous items. The keys for this cell were held by the administrative officers. The cells were designed to hold 12 persons each and at the time of the visit, there were six people being held in the cells. The detainees all appeared to be in good health and were not held longer than the stipulated period. There is provision for men and women to be held separately in the cells. The conditions of the cells were in between good and poor with the taps, shower and toilets and ablution facilities worked, the cleanliness was not good. All meals were provided as needed.
The blankets were not clean and there were no fire-extinguishers next to the cells. The cells have cameras in front of the cell doors, but they were not functioning at the time of the visit.
There were no children in custody, no deaths reported in detention and no escapes from the cells or from the courts.
3.4.4 Crime Prevention
There are foot patrols that take place, although there are no mounted or motorcycle vehicle patrols in the station precinct. The air and water wings are used when necessary while stop and searches operations take place per shift. There are also other kinds of operations in schools and trains.
The keys to the SAPS 13 stores and the Registry were not available at the time of the visit. There are no specialised units at the station except the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Units are located at cluster level.
The station has three sectors and they meet regularly on a monthly basis, although there are problems with a shortage of manpower and vehicles for all the sectors. While 20 members per sector has been allocated, there are only 15 members actually available. The station has five vehicles per shift, per sector available and they double up as reaction vehicles. The ratio of personnel to vehicles is 3:1.
The Station Commander indicated one of the problems is that there were no facilities for people visiting the cells and agreed that the key issues remained the poor infrastructure at the station.
In his concluding remarks, the Chairperson indicated that the police must be trusted by the people and that we need to look at the cleanliness of the station. There should also be no difference in the levels of service delivery of citizens experience in any police station in any part of the country. He expressed the view that the Committee was not satisfied that the members were not available to open offices that contained information as the keys were not at the station. This was a reflection on the leadership of the station and the Committee was in particular not impressed by the non-availability of information on the part of detectives.
The Chairperson recommended that the outstanding information should be made available to the Committee before the end of the week. He concluded by indicating that the Committee welcomed the fact that SAPS was doing good work in the area, but he indicated that the Committee will also support the station commander if she takes disciplinary action against any police officer who do not act in line with the Constitution.
4. Central Firearms Registry
The Committee visited the Central Firearms Registry (CFR) in view of previous hearings into the readiness of the CFR to process applications and allegations of corruption. The Chairperson indicated that the Committee required assurances from the SAPS that there are no problems with storage of applications; that the databases were integrated; and that one database was being used. The Committee also undertook a tour of the facility.
4.1 SAPS response
The SAPS noted that the challenges experienced by the CFR started at station level as the same person doing the firearms registration was also the designated liquor officer. The same officer has to attend to different duties and this causes delays with the processing of applications. The provincial structures have not as yet been implemented as human resources are a major problem. One member had to be allocated to deal with firearms, liquor and second hand goods. One of the biggest challenges was the fact that the station commander often use the designated officer for other duties and when the Designated Firearms Officer (DFO) is out, an auxiliary member is engaged to continue with duties.
The problem cuts across all provinces and the CFR experienced a power surge which damaged all the computers. This led to technological challenges which are being addressed by General Shezi together with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
The matter of the CFR building was discussed and the Chairperson wanted to know if it was viable for the building to remain in Pretoria.
The CFR indicated that they wanted a one-stop centre as the Archives were in Silverton Pretoria and they did not have additional space to put their additional files. The officers working with the Second-Hand Good Act and Liquor license applications were in another building.
The provincial delegations were then asked to indicate what the challenges in the provinces were.
4.1.1 North West and Northern Cape
There were similar logistical problems in the province as the DFOs did not have cars which they required to do inspections. Most of the vehicles are used for crime prevention operations. As a result the DFOs resigned and started to work for the mines. There are also challenges with the IT equipment and the commanders are changed regularly. The agreed structure has not been implemented at provincial level.
The new structure has been implemented at provincial level in 2012. It made provision for two lieutenant – colonels and one colonel. There is only one colonel and no Lt. Colonels and two deciding officers for the province. They reported that they leave work at 7pm and can’t take off sick. The problems with the legislation was the fact that it allowed an applicant to apply as many times as they wanted to. As people sell their firearms, they can do so up to six times as the system allows it. One of the key challenges is that DFOs accept incomplete applications and the province processes it without doing quality control. This affects the 90 day period in which they have to complete the processing of the application. Once an application reaches the office, it should go to the registrations office where after a file should be opened before being forwarded to the regions. The delegation reported that people work on the applications without a file being opened.
4.1.3 Limpopo and Mpumalanga
The delegation reported that all regions are supposed to be headed by a full colonel. There are too many applications coming from the provinces and they bring work every week to process. The work only stops if the provincial head is not available or off sick. They noted that Majors cannot approve the applications up to level 10.
4.1.4 Gauteng South
The members administering the process are not trained and are not appointed permanently and the documentation required for the processing of the applications is not available. Lastly, the system takes multiple applications for the same firearm.
4.1.5 Eastern Cape and Free State
The provincial structures are implemented and the DFO falls under the command of the station commissioners. There are challenges dealing with the head office because after 90 days have elapsed, members are exhausted because they did not do inspection reports. The delegation suggested that the DFOs must be trained and placed under command of the province. There are many firearms that are not registered on the system because firearms dealers have firearms not registered on the system, because SAPS don’t have a track record of the firearms. They felt that the delegations must be stronger because they receive more than 10 000 applications per month and this causes major problems.
4.1.6 Gauteng North
The delegation noted that the vicinity of the CFR is uninviting, people are urinating in the street and it is unsafe. They felt that the 90 day period can only work for competency certificates, it will not work for the accreditation process as there are other stakeholders involved and this places the 90 day period beyond their control.
They lost about eight members who have never been replaced and these appointments were beyond their control.
Transport is a major challenge for the DFOs and the fact that some people own more than 120 firearms is problematic. Others owned ten semi-automatic weapons and their view was that there should be limitations placed on the ownership of such weapons. They felt that the Act must be revised so that it gave people who bought firearms a chance of registering it. There are cases where people legitimately disposed of firearms in 1991, but the system continues to show that they still own it. The SAPS are also unable to locate people who bought firearms. They appealed to the Committee to make sure that the national commissioner finalised the ranks such as Lieutenants, colonels and majors to get delegations.
If the DFO is transferred or moved, head office and the province must be informed. Lastly, the Act must be reviewed in order to close gaps.
Members wanted to know what the legislative gaps were. The chairperson noted that the Committee will call on the Secretary of Police to identify and close down the gaps. This must be done as there is need to clamp down on illegal firearms. Of concern was the fact that people can apply for the same license in all nine provinces.
It was noted that the Firearms Act of 1969 database and the new Firearms Control Act, 60 of 2000 are not aligned. The Committee noted that the firearms of the former Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda and Ciskei (TBVC) are also not on the database and that this is problematic. The state of affairs is unacceptable and the country requires a corruption free database. There was an immediate need to set timelines for the integration of the databases and the upgrading of technology.
4.2 The Firearms Appeal Board
The Firearms Appeal Board (FAB) presented to the Committee. They sit to review the decisions of the CFR of all applications. In terms of the provisions of the Act, they are required to have five board members. They have always only had three members which constitutes a quorum.
They indicated that they have never been invited to comment on the gaps in legislation and as they experience the gaps on a daily basis, they would like to be included in such discussion. They have written letters to the senior management of the SAPS, but they have never been invited to contribute legally. The Chairperson of the Board indicated that he has legal expertise as he is a legal practitioner.
The FAB pointed out that there were operational defects on what SAPS has done. Most of the refusals from SAPS ends up as appeals to the FAB, and most of the decisions by SAPS should not end up in court. According to the FAB, there appears to be a lack of knowledge of the rules governing the refusal of licenses. They also stated that SAPS requires training on whether to declare a person fit or unfit to possess a license. It also depends on SAPS as they often request documentation from the SAPS why they refused licenses and that documentation was not forthcoming, they usually took a decision in favour of the applicant.
Members of the Committee questioned the matter of what the processes were relating to firearm amnesties and the role of the Minister of Police. They also wanted to know about the training of the DFO.
Members also noted that up to 39 000 police officers do not have firearms and wanted to know if there was an action plan in place to deal with this and the current backlogs in the processing of applications and renewals. Members also wanted to know about the personnel shortages and whether a skills audit was undertaken, and whether a feasibility study was undertaken to assess whether the operations of the CFR are compliant with the legislation.
In their response, the CFR indicated that the target date for the feasibility study is 31 March 2015. The station commanders should also inform the province and head office if the DFO moves through promotion or resignation. DFOs are currently being trained.
As far as amnesties were concerned, only the Minister can declare an amnesty and the last amnesty was declared in 2010. They also noted that as far as the 39 000 members of the SAPS without firearms licenses are concerned, that it is permitted in terms of S38 as they go through maintenance shooting. They are currently addressing the matter of the excess members who have found to be incompetent as far as firearms training is concerned. Operational members must be competent in the firing of handguns and shotguns. The upgrading of the systems as far as technology requirements are concerned is dependent on the SAPS IT management. The Waymark tender which was supposed to dot peen the firearms did not deliver. The SAPS also responded that there was no backlogs in the systems.
SAPS promised to provide a written response to the question posed by the Chairperson on whether they will be in a position to integrate the three systems onto one database.
They also noted the following:
- The numbers on the fixed establishment will remain as is, so there will not be any new personnel appointed, except for two people.
- They have made an application to the National Commissioner for more staff members and are awaiting the results thereof.
- The call centre receives more than 11000 calls per month.
- The CFR requires adequate security as someone was assaulted inside the building.
- The composition of the FAB is a matter for the Civilian Secretariat for Police.
- They urgently require more space as the lack of space is affecting the morale of members.
- They have started a track and trace service to members of the public using an online application
- The process of application within 90 days must be reviewed as the competency certificate spends six weeks at the station.
- It take two weeks to refer the new applications and renewals from the stations to the CFR.
- There is no records of the TBVC state firearms, and applicants attach the old license and old permit to the application. Only in this way can they trace the application process.
Members also wanted to know if the CFR were able to account for the firearms of the security forces. They questioned the CFR about the vetting of regional commanders. The CFR responded that the regional commanders have not been vetted and that it is an ongoing process. The Committee wanted an updated progress report by the first Tuesday in October 2014.
The former TBVC states defence force and police force firearms have been accounted for and has been recorded.
The FAB indicated that there are different cases in terms of different sections where people apply for a firearm for self-defence (S30), occasional hunting (s15), dedicated hunters and sports shooting (s16) and collectors (s17).
The Committee recommended that the revised action plan is required and must be with the Committee by 7 October 2014.
The Committee recommended that all vacancies at the CFR be filled as soon as possible and that a clean and comprehensive database of all firearms is required, even if it means a legislative review. The Committee wanted to have clear timelines for the implementation of the database.
The Committee will have hearings on the Firearms Control Amendment Act and recommended that it wanted the vetting of senior managers completed. The SAPS must also indicate if it requires more money through the budget review and recommendation process. Lastly the Chairperson called on the CFR to appoint more staff by submitting a motivation to the CFO and National Commissioner of SAPS.
5. Sunnyside Police Station
5.1 Station profile
The SAPS station management briefed the Members of the Committee about the state of crime and the operational issues facing the station.
The station covers a surface area of 19 km2 and is made up of flats in a residential area which mainly houses a student population. There is a lot of sub-letting to the student community and most of the vehicles are not secure at night. Most of the taverns are frequented by students and this makes them easy targets of crime. Sunnyside is the main contributor to crime and has a high level of property crime, assaults and theft out of motor vehicles.
There are 960 blocks of flats in Sunnyside with up to 15 people per flat on average. In view of the closure of shopping centres at around 7pm, people come out onto the streets in Esselen Street. There are two hotels and they stay open until late.
The station has six sectors with six sector managers. The station also has one sector crime forums in sector five and an interim CPF.
SAPS reported that they have 12 vehicles deployed with five vehicles in the garage. Vehicles have been in the SAPS garage for a period of 139 days. The station also deals with major events such as the rugby games at Loftus Versveld stadium, events at the Union Buildings as well as protest marches.
Sector five is adjacent to Brooklyn and has a problem with house robberies. There are also sex workers and most cases end up in robberies and abuse of drugs. The station is dealing with different types of drugs and dagga, cocaine and nyaope and engage in regular foot and vehicle patrols to deal with the problem. Another serious problem is identity theft, although no syndicates have been registered. Property crime accounts for 33% of the total station crime portfolio. The station has a dedicated crime intelligence capacity.
The detectives are housed eight kilometres from the main station and they conduct Identity parades in Lyttleton which is about twenty kilometres from the main station. SAPS reported that some of their cases have been withdrawn due to corruption and that they have been working closely with the public prosecutors.
The SAPS Inspectorate has also noted the problems with the housing of the detectives in terms of their accommodation and that they do not have sufficient computers for their members. There are currently seven computers for all detectives at the station.
The Committee members proceeded to commence with their inspections.
The Committee made the following key findings:
The acting - Station Commander at the station indicated that the major crime threats and priorities are theft out of motor vehicles, Common robbery and burglary at residential premises. The station is ranked 48 out of 140 stations and has a C-score of 60.27%. The station commander has completed all training modules, has signed a performance agreement and the station has a mentorship programme. The station also has a physical fitness programme and 289 members have been assessed. All the senior members of the station management team have signed performance agreements.
The station reaction times is 13 minutes, 26 seconds on average and when members exceed it, they should explain why. There is poor statement taking although the parade is held every night when the shift changes. This helps with communication between the police officials and Committee Members perused minutes of the station management team meetings to confirm this.
The station infrastructure is older than thirty years and there is insufficient space for all the members at the station even though it was renovated five years ago. Police officers have access to three psychologists for trauma counselling.
There is regular interaction with stakeholders and partners such as IPID, the national and provincial Inspectorate, the provincial cabinet members and the President also visited the station. Sunnyside police station has both POPCRU and SAPU unions’ active at the station and the relationship with POPCRU is cordial, but some union members are unhappy about transfers and the shortage of human resources.
The Interim CPF is active since March 2014 and they have planned an annual general meeting for November 2014. The CPF minutes were examined by the Committee members to verify that it indeed did meet on a regular basis. The CPF represents most sectors in the area and the relationship between the CPF and the police is very good as the station commander attends all CPF meetings. There are no funds available for the functioning of the CPF and they reported that there are many foreign nationals who are ineligible to serve on the CPF. The Neighbourhood watch participate in the CPF and they report all complaints to the CPF. The Domestic Workers Forum also form part of the CPF.
5.2.1 Community Service Centre (CSC)
The CSC signage and accessibility to the station is good and it makes provision for the persons with disabilities. The physical condition of the station is good and all personnel in the CSC wore nametags at the time of the visit. The station has implemented the DVA and the last entry into the register was 22 September 2014. The list of organisations and social development workers was readily available and in order in the CSC as far as children in trouble with the law was concerned. All compliance with the DVA and the Child Justice Act were in order at the station.
The legislation surrounding the Firearms Control Amendment Act (FCA) was implemented, except the training in the FCA. The station was designated as a firearm training station and it had a shooting range. On average, it received up to 34 applications per month and the waiting time was about three months. There have been 103 new applications for firearm licences and there is a Designated Firearms Officer at the station that also deals with the Second Hand Goods Act. There are 59 registered second hand goods dealers and SAPS undertake monthly visits to these dealers.
There have been 53 public complaints against police officers at the station which include six for failure to investigate and 12 for failure to provide feedback to complainants. The Provincial Inspectorate was also checking registers through spontaneous and unannounced visits. Serious complaints on average take 60 days to complete while there is no timeframe for minor complaints.
The station has 90 vehicles on the RAG, but only 82 actual vehicles. They have their own bullet proof vests (30) and they have all undergone IBIS testing on their firearms. The station has a shortage of handcuffs, leg-irons road block equipment and firearms.
The RAG indicates that the station has 364 allocated personnel, but the actual figure is 340. The station requires about eight data typists, and the communication officer’s post is vacant. Absenteeism is not really a problem at the station and most of the members have attended training courses. A total of 218 staff members have attended the DVA training, including a train the trainer course which lasted five days, Child Justice Act training and the resolving of Crime Course (ROCC).
The station has experienced four grievances from police officers and all four were resolved. There were two misconduct cases which involved corruption. The members were charged and disciplined. Four members were suspended for the average period of one month.
The detectives do not share the same premises with the station and they do not have sufficient interviewing rooms. They also have to travel to Centurion in order to conduct ID parades. There are 78 detectives at the station and they require an additional 30 detectives. The average years of experience is 5 years, with the average age of detectives being 30 years. The youngest detective is 34 years and the oldest is 59 years.
Twenty detectives completed 25% of the training, 54 completed all the training and there are 15 detective training opportunities per year.
There are four detectives per vehicle and they require twelve more vehicles. The detectives’ component carry a total of 3365 dockets with about 50 dockets per detectives on average. The highest number of dockets that any one detective carries is 295. The detection rate is 35% and the disposal rate is 18.47%.
The oldest docket at the station is dated in 2002 as it is awaiting a toxicology report. There have been 1014 cases closed undetected with no missing dockets at the station.
The station has ten holding cells which are all operational. At the time of the visit there were seven detainees in the cells in total. The shower in one of the cells did not work and the detainees all received their food on time.
5.2.6 SAPS 13 stores
The Committee was generally satisfied that the stores were well managed and none of the exhibits were stolen or missing. The firearms stores were immaculate and the Committee was impressed by the management of the stores.
The Committee observed that the station was a good functioning station that complied with the policing prescripts and that there were no major problems at the station. There were no cases of death in police custody or as a result of police action registered with the IPID and the Chairperson indicated that the committee welcomed the efforts made by the police officers at the station to deliver quality services.
Report to be considered.
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