Drop in complaints against SAPS
CRIMINAL and misconduct complaints against the South African Police Service (SAPS) declined by 16% in 2011-12 when compared to the previous financial year, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) reported to Parliament on Tuesday.
Deaths in police custody or as a result of police action reduced by 10% from the previous year after having shown steady increases over the few years preceding 2010-11. At the time, concern was expressed that the intemperate language used by politicians to shoot to kill was being taken literally.
Acting executive director Koekie Mbeki, reporting on the activities of IPID’s predecessor the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD - the name changed on April 1), reported that 15% of all the complaints involved deaths either in police custody or as a result of police action. Forty-seven percent of all complaints involved criminal matters.
Ms Mbeki said if the 2011-12 year was compared to the previous year, deaths had decreased by 10%, down from 797 to 720, while criminal offences decreased by 7%, from 2,493 to 2,320.
She said that in 545 cases recommendations were made to the National Prosecuting Authority that police officers be prosecuted, while in 1,276 cases it was recommended to the police that disciplinary steps be taken against officers.
Up until March 31 2012, SAPS management were not obliged to act on ICD recommendations but under the new IPID legislation they are required to respond.
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