Watchdog body now needs teeth

URGENT action is required to empower the police watchdog - the independent complaints directorate - in countering crime statistics manipulation, the Democratic Alliance said yesterday.

URGENT action is required to empower the police watchdog - the independent complaints directorate - in countering crime statistics manipulation, the Democratic Alliance said yesterday.

"The DA called for legislative measures to empower the ICD," DA MP Dianne Kohler Barnard said.

She had proposed to the secretariat of police that amendments be made to the South African Police Service Act to bolster the ICD.

She also recommended that legislation pertaining to the ICD be ready before 2010.

"If we are to give the ICD the full power it needs to scrutinise indiscretions and hold officers to account, we have to capacitate and strengthen this body."

It was reported that the ICD had investigated 1000 dockets in Western Cape after MEC Lennit Max highlighted how police officers registered complaints as inquiries rather than criminal cases to fudge crime figures.

The ICD also revealed that officials based at the Mountain Rise police station in KwaZulu-Natal hid 170 unregistered dockets.

Barnard said though the ICD received 6119 complaints against the SAPS in 2009, only 10 percent of all recommendations were implemented by by SAPS. - Sapa

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