Police Minister Bheki Cele has unveiled the Station Accountability Plan in an effort to curb the country’s soaring crime levels.
The Minister announced the plan on Friday, shortly after releasing crime statistics for the fourth quarter (Q4) of the 2021/22 financial year.
Addressing a briefing, Cele said the plan would only work if all station commanders were empowered and supported through National Police Commissioner Fannie Masemola’s management.
He said: “The Station Accountability Plan rests on Station Commanders. As Commanders, you are expected to: Know your staff! Know the welfare of your members! Take charge of your police station. Keep track of your tools of trade and maintain an overall healthy working environment”.
As managers, Cele said Station Commanders should “lead, be firm and be committed to serving and your members will follow suit”.
“Build and restore relations between organised community structures, and the broader society you serve and your members. It is a fact that the SAPS has thousands of hard-working and dedicated officers, who on a daily put their lives at risk in the execution of their duties,” said the Minister.
Unfortunately, he said, “there are police officers that are failing communities”.
The Station Accountability Plan will ensure that Community Service Centres are not scenes of secondary victimisation by police, he said.
Tackling gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF)
Cele’s ministry has noted with encouragement that GBV Desks are now available at 1 154 police stations countrywide, staffed with members trained in GBVF-related courses.
“Over 90 000 police officers have been trained in victim empowerment, domestic violence and sexual offences related programmes. This will ensure a victim-centred service is provided by officers at police stations,” he said.
The plan is expected to be implemented immediately, especially at the top 30 high crime stations.
Cele said this sharp focus on stations will mean all station commanders are expected to closely monitor their unique crime situations.
Every two weeks, commanders must evaluate and put in place relevant operational plans to curb crime.
The Minister said Station Commanders must have in place monitoring mechanisms to ring the alarm in time.
“The senior officers from national, deployed to Top 30 high crimes stations as part of the ‘Police Station Guardian’ programme, must be enhanced. Clear targets of crime reduction and eradication within timeframes must be met,” he said.
The Minister said police personnel should be saturating streets over weekends, as this is the “high noon” of crime.
“There will be expeditious processes, if and when the set targets are not achieved,” he said, adding he is hopeful that the intervention will improve service delivery. – SAnews.gov.za