‘Crooked cops must be dismissed’

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Independent Newspapers

Johannesburg - Bribery, the selling of dockets, murder, hijacking and armed robberies.

These are just a few of the crimes that hundreds of Gauteng police officers have been accused of and fired from the SAPS for in the past two years.

From September 2010 to the end of last year, 868 police officers had been arrested for various crimes, and 201 of them had since been dismissed.

Speaking at a media conference in Isando on Tuesday to give feedback on the SAPS’s festive season policing campaign, Operation Duty Calls, Gauteng provincial commissioner Mzwandile Petros said officers committing crime was something that was concerning.

And, he said, it was very important for those officers to be dismissed, so that other officers and also the public could see that action was being taken.

Petros said concerned residents had told him that, if he wanted their involvement in helping fight crime, he needed to deal with integrity within the police first.

“(The dismissals) had to be done, and we are also pleased at how the judiciary is dealing with this… If a police officer is arrested, we want to speed up the process, so that the public will have confidence in the police and the prosecution. We will arrest these people and send them where they belong.”

Towards the end of last year, Petros launched Operation Duty Calls.

He said their efforts to launch it early were worth it, as Gauteng residents had enjoyed a peaceful festive season.

Over the festive period, police conducted 3 495 roadblocks, arrested 45 111 suspects, closed 4 924 illegal liquor outlets, recovered 2 437 stolen vehicles, and confiscated 3 346 illegal firearms, which were to be destroyed next week.

No malls were robbed, and the police had thwarted plans to rob one on December 8, arresting 10 people. A planned cash-in-transit heist was also foiled after the police got information on it.

Police also confiscated 411 500 litres of alcohol, and on Tuesday they destroyed 52 000 litres of those, together with some fake DVDs and CDs.

Petros also touched on Muldersdrift, a farming area west of Joburg that has been hard hit by crime recently.

He said police had noticed that the modus operandi of the attackers varied, which indicated it may not be the same gangs committing the crimes.

Petros said the police believed the criminals were from the area, and not outsiders.

“If the enemy is within, it’s a problem,” he said, adding that a meeting with residents in the area was going to take place soon.

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The Star


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