Cop or criminal? Divide between officers and offenders blurred

Cop or criminal? Divide between officers and offenders blurred

- Over 4 000 police officers currently have criminal records, seeing the divide between a cop and a crook blurred

- This fact is an indication of the state's failure to implement provisions of the National Development Plan, according to experts

- The Institute for Security Studies reacts to MEC Faith Mazibuko's revelation that numerous officers in Gauteng have records

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Thousands of the officers entrusted with South Africa's safety are tainted, according to Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko.

In response to a question posed by John Moodey (Democratic Alliance), Mazibuko revealed that 137 Gauteng officers had been arrested over the past three years, with the majority still awaiting trial and only 13 convicted.

On a national level, the figures skyrocket even higher, reports The Citizen. Richard Mamabolo, spokesperson for the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union, says that the situation requires urgent implementation of the NDP's provisions.

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4 174 police members have criminal records, according to Police Minister Bheki Cele's statistics from earlier this year. Including kidnapping, fraud, assault and theft, there are even charges levied against 32 senior officers.

The Institute for Security Studies' Johan Burger says that none of the NDP's recommendations, which clearly states how to rid law enforcement of any bad elements, have been implemented by the state.

Burger called on the National Prosecuting Authority to speed up finalisation of cases against officers, saying that delays in justice have undermined the nation's trust in the police.

The appointment of the national police commissioner was also fraught with political interference according to Burger:

“It is a pity that the control, when it comes to appointing the national police commissioner, rests with the president – a process tainted by politics.”

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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