Cape Town -
The Western Cape has a new Crime Intelligence boss, police commissioner Arno Lamoer said on Tuesday.
Briefing the provincial legislature’s standing committee on community safety on the provincial police’s annual report for 2012/13, Lamoer announced that Major-General Peter Jacobs, the province’s former deputy provincial police commissioner, was now head of Crime Intelligence in the Western Cape. Jacobs took up the post on January 1.
The province’s Crime Intelligence unit has been plagued by controversy following allegations that the division under the leadership of its acting head, Mzwandile Tiyo, laid charges of defeating the ends of justice against the national police commissioner, General Riah Phiyega.
Deputy police commissioner Sharon Jafta has been moved into Jacobs’s position as deputy commissioner operational services. Her post as operational officer will not be filled.
Lieutenant-General Lamoer told the committee the killing of police officers remained a grave concern for police management and dealing with this would remain a top priority.
Lamoer said about 12 officers were killed while on duty in the Western Cape in the 2012/13 financial year.
On Monday, a police constable was shot in the head and critically wounded and a security guard was killed at the Philippi Plaza.
“Attacks on my police officers in comparison with any other province (are) much higher. There has been lot of debate about it but for us it is a simple thing: because we are doing our jobs, automatically criminals will retaliate.”
Committee chairman Mark Wiley called for a moment of silence for officers who had died in the line of duty.
Lamoer said that during the past financial year police work had resulted in “103 sentences of 20 years and more for various cases.
Of these, 33 convictions were for murder, 60 for rape and 10 for aggravated robbery.”
Lamoer said 41 life sentences had been handed down.
“On average we confiscate about 30 firearms per week… this shows about 1 500 firearms confiscated. But firearms are still the weapon of choice in some of the violent acts.”
He said more than 3 000 laptops had been distributed to make detectives’ work easier.
After a two-hour session, Lamoer conceded that while the targets police had set were not achieved, there was a clear improvement.