Safety of police stations and cops to be scrutinised in Parliament

National Police Commissioner General Kehla Sitole has been asked to brief Parliament on security measures at police stations and to protect officers, the Parliamentary Police Committee said on Sunday.

“It is evident that some criminal syndicates are targeting police stations that are not well secured to obtain firearms for criminal activity,” said committee chairperson Francois Beukman.

“Furthermore, the deployment of sufficient members during the weekend and night shifts is also paramount and station and cluster commanders should on an on-going basis monitor the effectiveness of security measures at police stations.”

Condemning the killing of two police officers, Constable Lonwabo Kili and Constable Siyamcela Ncipa, respectively in Delft and Khayelitsha near Cape Town on Friday, Beukman said it was clear that the motivation had been to steal guns.

Read more here: Two Cape Town cops killed in one night, firearms taken

“The committee calls on SAPS to ensure that the investigation is prioritized to find the killers of the policemen.”

Beukman also mentioned concerns with two recent attacks at police stations in the Eastern Cape.

Earlier this month, four armed men who walked into the Kareedouw police station during the early hours of the morning and held an officer on duty at gunpoint, before making off with a number of firearms from the safe.

Read more here: Huge manhunt after Kareedouw police station robbed of firearms

In a separate incident, four balaclava-clad gunmen walked into a police station in Mthatha and held officers at gunpoint as they killed a man in police custody. 

Beukman said the committee was concerned that there had been apparent delays to plans to install CCTV cameras, upgrade perimeter fencing and install secure entrance gates at police stations.

“Police management should move with speed and determination on this matter." 

Tactical training of officers and “pro-active crime intelligence” is key to deal with the current scourge of criminal activity targeting them, Beukman said.