Most of the police officers who were killed in the last financial year did not die in the line of duty‚ the latest crime statistics revealed on Tuesday.
A total of 85 officers were murdered but only 28 had been on-duty at the time of their killing.
Just like the 2016/17 financial year‚ the cop killings amounted to 0.4% of the total number of killings the country recorded‚ according to the latest #CrimeStats.
Police minister Bheki Cele revealed that staff numbers had dropped significantly.
"We are 10‚000 police fewer than last year. We have lost the United Nations norm of policing which says one policeman to 220 citizens. One police officer is now looking at almost double that‚" Cele said.
The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) said many officers‚ like other public servants‚ had chosen to resign amid fears of jobs being frozen due to budget cuts. Others chose to resign because of the post-traumatic stress they face due to the nature of the job‚ its spokesman Richard Mamabolo told TimesLIVE.
Popcru led a march to the Union Buildings in July‚ complaining about working conditions for police personnel on the ground‚ saying that the police budget was skewed towards the top brass.
"It is so illogical‚ outrageous and unwarranted that the South African population amounting to 57-million can be effectively policed by less than 200‚000 members of SAPS. More so‚ with (a top heavy structure in Head and Provincial offices) not doing the actual policing function‚" the union said in a memorandum to government.
"Fruitless expenditure emanating from this bloated structure can be used to build and renovate police stations and capacitate them with the required human and other resources; thereby improving working conditions for police members... A majority of police stations‚ more especially in townships and rural areas‚ do not have basic equipment such as (functioning) CCTV cameras‚ bulletproof windows and burglar doors while members do not have adequate protective gear."
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