SAPS heading for shake-up

South Africans will soon be making crime statements to paralegals and legal professionals when they enter one of the country's 1116 police stations, Police Commissioner Bheki Cele said yesterday.

South Africans will soon be making crime statements to paralegals and legal professionals when they enter one of the country's 1116 police stations, Police Commissioner Bheki Cele said yesterday.

"The next recruitment lot will be legals and paralegals to take statements ... so that the police can be in the field and to ensure that statements stand in court," Cele told the National Press Club in Pretoria.

A process of "professionalising" the police force was being phased in. The SAPS would be recruiting science graduates to run forensic laboratories and machines.

"We need key aides (chartered accountants), we need IT gurus ... we are phasing in that kind of quality," Cele said.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said this formed part of efforts to improve the police's performance. He said certain previously disbanded units might be reintroduced.

"The closure of these units had led to significant debate about the need for certain types of crime to be addressed by people with specialised knowledge and experience." - Sapa

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