'Western Cape police will find it hard to meet targets due to lack of resources'

The police ombudsman has said that complaints about police inefficiency in the Overstrand area in the Western Cape are "substantiated".
The police ombudsman has said that complaints about police inefficiency in the Overstrand area in the Western Cape are "substantiated".
Image: Elvis Ntombela

"Police inefficiency" in the Overstand region of the Western Cape is real.

This is the finding of a report by the Western Cape police ombudsman. The report was on alleged inefficiency at Gansbaai, Kleinmond, Hermanus and Stanford SAPS stations.

Ombudsman JJ Brand wrote that claims about poor response times by police and departments being under-resourced were accurate.

Abalone poaching, beaches becoming unsafe, gangsterism and a lack of CCTV facilities were among major concerns raised by the Gansbaai CPF.

The report indicated that the ratio of officers to population in the area fell well short of the UN's recommendation of 1:200, with SA's ratio sitting at 1:383.

Based on these and other factors - including a shortage of vehicles - the ombudsman concluded that it was inevitable that police would face significant challenges to meet their crime-fighting mandates.

"It is thus clear that there is indeed a shortage of human and physical resources in the Overstand area," he wrote. 

Brand outlined a long list of recommended actions that should be taken by the departments. 

He recommended that an urgent review be submitted to the national police commissioner to ensure that the officer-to-population ratio is amended, and that an urgent review of the vehicle policy also be undertaken. 

He also suggested that a project proposal for the curbing of abalone poaching be instituted "immediately".

Western Cape safety MEC Albert Fritz welcomed the report.

"I would like to thank the ombudsman for sharing these insightful recommendations which are rooted in empirical evidence. I will work closely with my department to ensure that the relevant recommendations are implemented," he said.


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