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Date: 09 May 2012
Title: 2012 Year of the Detective - Mthethwa
Pretoria - Police have dubbed 2012 as The Year of the Detective and will direct their energies to 10 priorities, says Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa.
Delivering his budget vote in Parliament on Wednesday, Mthethwa said his ministry had, in this fiscal year, narrowed its focus to the 10 priorities that were not only achievable but had to be achieved.
The first priority was transforming the police, particularly with regards to aspects, units or specialised areas that remained untransformed in terms of race and gender.
In addition, transformation also involved creating police officers that inspired confidence, respected and upheld the Constitution, and did not tolerate disloyalty or ill-discipline, he added.
Next on the Ministry's agenda was smart policing with the aim of enhancing the Criminal Justice System.
The first step was harmonising the Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector within the SAPS.
Once this was achieved, an e-docketing system that would eliminate the problem of missing dockets would be possible. ICT would also contribute to the increased detection rate, the roll out of war rooms and the improvements in Forensic Laboratories.
Mthethwa noted that there was a budget of approximately R2.6 billion on technology, as allocated under the Technology Services Management (TMS) division.
"However, allegations of tender mismanagement, irregular expenditure and lack of return on investment have been brought to my attention...I have instructed that the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (Hawks) to conduct a comprehensive investigation into allegations of corruption in the TMS environment," he said.
In addition, the minister wants, by the end of the month, a turn-around strategy from TMS, he said.
Another priority is ensuring that the pace at which new police stations were built was accelerated.
The focus will be to build police stations around rural areas and townships and to ensure they were correctly capacitated with committed personnel and improved systems and operations.
In the current financial year, another aim will be to police public service delivery better.
A new policy for Public Order Policing (POP) was introduced in 2011 and this year Mthethwa wants to see the policy effectively implemented countrywide.
An additional focus area will be the strengthening of crime intelligence as well as improvements in detective services.
"For us to increase the conviction rate, crime intelligence and detective services should deepen their link," he said.
Mthethwa noted the success of the DPCI in the fight against crime.
"As part of our concerted drive on specialised investigations, particularly in tackling commercial crime, the DPCI arrested 8 309 individuals and secured 5 561 convictions; when it comes to organised crime they further arrested 2 820 and secured 884 convictions," he said.
The Anti-Corruption Task Team also recorded significant successes by arresting 38 suspects for fraud and corruption amounting to R 212 528 988 and seizing assets totalling R150 million.
A further area of focus for police is crime against women and children and in particular, strengthening Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Units.
Other priorities include curbing rhino poaching; the review of the white paper on safety and security; skills-focused recruitment; strengthening oversight on police; and improving Forensic Science Laboratories.
Mthethwa also announced a commission of enquiry into the operations of firearm dealerships after his office received numerous complaints regarding unscrupulous dealers and trainers.
In addition, the minister has issued a policy directive that SAPS must now implement.
"This policy includes issues of competency, disciplinary and criminal process regarding officials loosing firearms as well as more effective control mechanisms in the reissuing of firearms to officials who have lost their firearms," he said. - BuaNews