The Police, Prisons and Civil Rights Union (Popcru) in the Eastern Cape has criticised the delay in phasing out area police offices.
Popcru's provincial secretary, Tshaka Mdiya, yesterday complained that the new national plan to combat crime should already have been implemented in the Eastern Cape.
The phasing out of police area offices in favour of local stations is expected to lead to proactive policing.
The Eastern Cape, which has one of the highest crime rates in the country, has eight area offices and 195 police stations.
Mdiya said area offices were contravened the country's constitution and that phasing them out would give station commissioners more authority to deal with crime.
The spokesman for the provincial Department of Safety and Liaison, Ncedo Kumbaca, said redeploying officers would not cost the South African Police Service more.
"The strategy is to improve service delivery and to combat crime by beefing up capacity at the station level," he said.