Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Shocking conditions at police stations

By Ilhaam Hoosain
26 November 2007

The Democratic Alliance (DA) released a document that describes the five worst police stations in the country as examples of the challenges and difficulties that are faced by the South African Police Services (SAPS).

"Well we’ve examined police stations the length and breadth of the country and the following five were had been selected as the five worst in the country,” says Safety and Security Spokesperson Dianne Kohler Barnard.

1. Verena police station in Mpumulanga
2. Mfuleni police station in the Western Cape
3. Inyibiba police station in the Eastern Cape
4. Mdantsane police station in the Eastern Cape
5. KwaMashu police station in KwaZulu-Natal

Matters have been put into place to refurbish most of our police stations in the country, this is a process that is still going on,” says ANC’s spokesperson on Safety and Security Hangwani Mulaudzi.

Manenberg police station in the Western Cape was identified as an extremely well-managed and resourced station in the country.

“In terms of making sure South Africa is a safe country. We will be moving ahead everyone has a right to criticise. At the same time we need to make sure that when we criticise we don’t criticise just for criticising but we criticise in the sense that we make sure that we build on what we have now and also make sure that the South African population is safe,” says Mulaudzi.

“The worst police stations some of them have appalling staff situations with hundreds and hundreds of their staff up on disciplinary hearings for coming to work drunk or not coming to work at all,” says Barnard.

Many of the following problems were experienced at the stations:

· Personnel shortages
· Vehicle shortages
· Shortages of bulletproof vests and operational equipment such as hand-held radios, pepper spray and handcuffs
· Lack of adequate space in the holding cells
· Lack of office space
· Inadequate storage facilities for equipment and evidence
· Lack of secure storage facilities for dockets
· Absence of interviewing rooms and secure suspect identification rooms
· Non-compliance with the Domestic Violence Act (DVA) and
· Unsuitable station premises.


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