Parliament praises arrest of Bellville constable for gun theft
Parliament’s portfolio committee on police has welcomed the arrest of a Bellville constable over the theft of 18 guns.
“The committee has always held the view that stricter gun control is a pillar necessary to the effective fight against violent crime. It is thus disappointing that an officer of the law is alleged to have conspired in breaking the law and possibly aiding the perpetration of crime‚" said the committee’s chairperson Francois Beukman. “The South African Police Service (SAPS) must work with the National Prosecuting Authority to ensure successful prosecution.”
The 34-year-old constable was arrested by the Hawks’ National Bureau for Illegal Firearms Control and Priority Violent Crime.
“This arrest confirms the committee’s considered view that the implementation of measures such as channelling more resources to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation’s specialised unit focusing on illegal firearms; implementation of more projects and network operations initiated by crime intelligence dealing with gun-smuggling by criminal syndicates; stricter control measures about SAPS stores; and a full-scale review of the turn-around strategy of the FCR (Fire-Arms Registry) will yield the necessary results in fighting the proliferation of illegal firearms‚” said Beukman.
He said there was an urgent need to implement lifestyle audits on the SAPS members to fight against any form of corruption.
“Vetting and lifestyle audits can be an effective way of removing rogue officers within the system and ensure the return of the credibility of the organisation.”