SAPS striving for a safer SA

Plans are afoot for the South African Police Services (SAPS) to establish a crime detection academy, as police intensify crime fighting efforts in response to criminal networks reigning terror.
This was revealed by National Police Commissioner, General Khehla Sitole, at the conclusion of the three-day Crime Detection Conference.
The theme of the conference was “repositioning crime detection for excellence and synergy in the South African Police Service’s Service Delivery Value Chain”.
During the conference, the police’s top police brass resolved on this and various other resolutions.
Addressing reporters at the conclusion of the conference, Sitole said the academy would assist the police to stay abreast of criminal modus operandi used by criminals.
“We have challenges were crime is committed through deep-web transactions and our investigators are expected to investigate,” he said.
The academy will not only offer short courses but also offer medium to long-term programmes.
“We do not intend to just train people in short courses on crime detection but we want to invest in short, medium and long term investment. What has become a wake-up call for us is that when criminals come up with new modus operandi, our training standards immediately get outdated and we are no longer able to respond. This particular academy will also do what we call a continuous and sustainable human resources development research,” he said.
During the conference, he said, the SAPS leadership conceded that the academy would address challenges in crime detection, strategic collaborations with crime intelligence, forensics and other components.
He said the SAPS would strengthen relations with role-players such as the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation, Financial Intelligence Centre, National Prosecuting Authority and the Department of Health.
“We have engaged robustly on our shortcomings and emphatically on how we are to respond to these,” he said.
Sitole said there should be proper engagements with communities regarding their cases and complaints to build trust and strong relationships with them as core partners in crime fighting initiatives.
During the conference, he said, it was resolved that combatting gender-based violence, taxi and gang violence, kidnapping, political killings and stock theft needed to be a priority.
“The conference has among others reaffirmed the Organised Crime Approach, root cause analysis and modus operandi, cybercrime strategy, recruitment, reenlistment and retention strategy. We will seek to reenlist former members to enhance the capacity and capabilities of the Crime Detection environment,” he said.
The crime detection capabilities needed to be capacitated, said Sitole, if the ratio between visible policing and the detectives service were to be addressed. In addition to this, police were also prioritising the strengthening of the informer network.
“Tracking units should resort to optimise the tracking of wanted suspects,” he said.
The National Commissioner said it was agreed during the conference that governance should be revisited and re-training of officers should be considered to enhance procedures to revive the importance of, among others, the critical need to oppose bail.
“We have resolved to develop an internal strategic marketing plan for indicating Crime Intelligence tools and services to enhance crime detection,” he said.
Cold case teams will be established in all provinces and would report to the Provincial Investigation Units.
Despite there being risk in providing timelines for the investigation of dockets, he said the conference had resolved that there were certain timelines to be adhered to.
Chief among these was that compulsory investigations by detectives be concluded in 72 hours. Another resolution with regard to this was for senior officers to visit all serious and violent crime scene cases.

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