Murder hot spot Grassy Park short on cops as 31 detectives each sit with 250 dockets
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Cape Town – At Grassy Park police station, a total of 31 detectives each carry a case load of about 250 dockets, with a ratio of about 1 379 residents per police officer.
This has led MPP Reagen Allen, the DA spokesperson on community safety, to question why there is a shortage of police officials at a well-known crime hot spot.
Last month, three men were found dead in a field in the Grassy Park policing precinct. They had been shot multiple times in a suspected gang-related shooting.
In August, at least seven people people were murdered in and around Grassy Park over the last month.
Subsequently, Allen was alarmed when, on conducting an oversight visit to the police station in the area, that there are only 116 police officials stationed at the Grassy Park station.
Because, in contrast, SAPS indicated through a parliamentary reply that ’’160 officials are on the granted establishment for this particular station’’.
’’The granted establishment for Grassy Park stood at 176 in 2020, but without explanation, this declined to 160 officials for 2021. The reality is now that only about 73% of the granted establishment is active in the area.
’’Why has SAPS’s official parliamentary reply not lined up with the actual number of boots on the ground?
’’The severe shortage of policing resources has contributed to 31 detectives for SAPS Grassy Park carrying a case load of about 250 dockets each. Similarly, the police to population ratio is approximately 1 379 residents per police officer.
’’This an extremely heavy burden for which both residents and the SAPS officials bear the brunt. Still, we met with the City of Cape Town’s Metro Police during our visit and welcome their engagement with the Anti-Gang Unit for an operational plan in the area. We also welcome the City’s support for LEAP roaming deployment.
’’We will submit further parliamentary questions to determine the number of resignations and vacancies across SAPS stations in the metro.
’’Receiving accurate information from the police is not merely an oversight obligation, but more than that, it is accurate data which we must receive to have a clear view of resource allocations to Western Cape communities.
’’Any lack of resources, including boots on the ground, must be made known so that proper planning and mitigation can take place.
’’For the previous financial year (2019/2020), SAPS reported that it had 94.4% of its posts filled. Once again, this is short of its own national target of 98%.
’’If we are to take seriously the prevention and tackling of crime, then the national Minister of Police must prioritise a well-resourced and properly trained police service.’’