Claims of police inefficiency in the Overstand region of the Western Cape are real.
This is according to 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 Western Cape police 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.
The advocate wrote that because of the findings in the report it is clear that there is indeed a shortage of human and physical resources in the Overstand area.
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.
The ombud also suggested that a project proposal for the curbing of abalone poaching be instituted immediately.
Western Cape safety MEC Albert Fritz welcomed the report and thanked the ombudsman for sharing his insightful recommendations. The MEC said he would work closely with his department to ensure that the relevant recommendations were implemented.