POPCRU on the attack on Malamulele Police Station
The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) finds it enraging the continued, unabated attacks on police stations that have been on an increase in recent times.
At around 10h30pm last night, there was yet another brazen attack at the Malamulele SAPS in the Limpopo province, wherein over 10 armed robbers ambushed and held officers hostage, robbed the station of four R5 rifles, five short guns, and four service pistols.
It is understood these officers were then forcefully locked at the back of a police vehicle, and after that, further attacks were conducted at nearby filling stations.
This brazen attack takes place at a time when there have been many vulnerabilities with regards to the integrity of police stations, dominantly those situated outside affluent areas, with challenges around the uneven allocation of resources and staff shortages at a peak.
At the time of the attack, five officers were on duty, presiding over an area that covers a population of approximately half a million people.
This follows multiple other incidents of the same nature in Mpumalanga, the Eastern Cape, and the North West Provinces in the recent past, demonstrating that despite the historical role of police stations being safe havens; they are now becoming unsafe territories for both officers and community members. This has unfairly led to police being totally blamed for failing to serve communities without characterising their deteriorating working conditions.
POPCRU’s call for the speedy implementation of the restructuring of the SAPS is in part aimed at addressing the duplication of functions, the weak command and control, and poor service delivery at station levels. This process is informed by the need to improve conditions for the service provided, with its goals being to ensure improved productivity and morale, increased organisational effectiveness and efficiency.
It is a matter of urgency that the SAPS addresses the challenge around the uneven allocation of resources, so as to ensure rural and township police stations are well resourced and capacitated to improve on service delivery for their surrounding communities. This, we believe, will also go a long way in changing the current perceptions around the role of policing.
There is an urgent need to build the number of required police stations and capacitate them with requisite human and other resources in line with the determined ratios.
We call on our law enforcement officers and communities alike to remain vigilant during this festive season, as criminals are increasingly out there conducting their nefarious conducts. We further urge community members to share any information that could assist in the apprehension of these perpetrators.
Issued by POPCRU on 22/11/2021
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