Parliamentary committee concerned about effectiveness of safety strategy at police stations

04 August 2018 - 14:29 By Timeslive
A search for the suspects is currently under way.
A search for the suspects is currently under way.
Image: Elvis Ntombela

Parliament’s portfolio committee on police has expressed ‘serious concern” about the effectiveness of the safety strategy of the South African Police Service at station level in the wake of an attack on the Kareedouw police station in the Eastern Cape in the early hours of Saturday.

Police spokesperson Captain Gerda Swart said the incident happened at about 1.30am.

“It is alleged that four armed suspects entered the Community Service Centre and overpowered the constable on duty. The suspects removed firearms from the safe and a police hand radio‚” Swart said.

“The constable made alarm after the robbers sped away in an unidentified vehicle. All necessary roleplayers were immediately deployed. A huge search for the suspects is currently under way. A case of armed robbery has been opened.”

The portfolio committee on police condemned the attack in the “strongest terms”.

“It is concerning that criminals have become so brazen that police stations‚ institutions at the centre of the fight against crime‚ are being targeted as playgrounds for the commitment of crimes. It is also concerning that police firearms stolen at the station will add to the pool of firearms to be used in criminal activities‚ said the committee’s chairperson‚ Francois Beukman.

“The Committe also notes that this robbery happened despite the assurance given by SAPS management earlier this year that safety at police stations will be upgraded. Police management also gave an undertaking that the necessary training to prevent such attacks will take place.

“There is clearly shortcomings in the implementation in the plan and police management will have to account for this failure” Beukman said.