Police and firearms should go hand in hand safely, right? Well, for thousands of officers it may go hand in hand, even if it’s not legally.
The Democratic Alliance’s Shadow Deputy Minister of Police, Dianne Kohler Barnard, is bringing attention a reply from a parliamentary question asked to the Minister of Police
The reply revealed that 3500 uncertified SAPS officers are still carrying firearms. Potentially even more worrying, the police ministry revealed that around 11 000 officers do not have competency certificates.
Barnard says the DA will now ask parliamentary questions to find out how many of those officers have unlawfully fired their gun and “ended up injuring or killing a civilian.
|Provinces||(ii) Number of Officers who do not have competency certificates||(b) Number of officers who are not yet competent, but still carrying firearms|
|Eastern Cape||1 273||264|
|Total||11 334||3 473|
SAPS does not issue gun licenses to their offices so these permits are even more important as they are the only real checks and balances. Barnard says the situation is critically dangerous for everyone in South Africa.
“SAPS issue firearm permits to police officials only if they can prove that they are fit and proper and that they successfully completed training to safely handle a firearm.
Therefore, SAPS have failed to ensure that thousands of police officials are in fact fit to have and use their guns. This not only puts the South African public in danger but also the police officials themselves.
Anyone carrying a firearm without a license faces up to 15 years in prison.”
Barnard also called for SAPS to “transform into the professional police service required to fight crime”
The DA has more than one policing problem on their hands, the party announced on Friday that it will March in the Western Cape in order to demand more police officers. The party (who governs the Western Cape) says that the worst areas of the province have only 1 police officer to every 700 people.
Let’s hope that police officer has all their certificates…
By: The South African