The question on most South African’s mind is: is our police officers adequately trained to reduce crime? Reducing crime is not about arresting drunken people on the streets as most of the police officers in this country are very good at that, it’s about doing thorough detective investigations to root out the most common crimes that are giving many South Africans sleepless nights, the muggings, armed robberies, car hijackings and more.
There are a lot of measures being put in place to combat crime, but the root of the problem is in the capability of the officers when coming to crime investigations. Arresting people is easy and everyone can do that without adequate training, but before arresting you need to gather evidence so that the suspects don’t walk free at the end of the day and that’s where most of our police officers are coming short and this goes back to proper recruitment and training. The solution is for the department to train police officers the way private investigators are trained so that they can be well equipped when coming to criminal investigations.
Most South Africans have lost faith in the police completely and that is a scary thing to think about, because this means the SAPS has given the community numerous reasons to not believe in them anymore. And to make things worse the police chiefs and commissioners are not helping the situation because they are busy committing crimes, and this are the people who are supposed to be leading by example. Being an officer of the law, the first important thing is to love the profession before anything else and most police officers in South Africa are in the force because they couldn’t find jobs somewhere and they found SAPS as an alternative, so that explains their unwillingness to combat crime because they don’t have love for policing.
Until very strict measures are taken to make sure that police officers are adequately trained when coming to investigative services, South Africa will never win the war against crime.
Article by Mashilo J Mothemane
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