Police deny plans to reduce white officers

The South African Police Service (SAPS) has denied that it intends reducing the number of white police officers.

It was responding to reports of police plans to change the white-to-black ratio from one-to-five to one-to-10 in the next three years.

“Police top management outright rejects rumours that the SAPS intends reducing the number of white police officials through offering them severance packages,” said Director Sally de Beer.

“These rumours are untrue and without foundation.

“In fact, we are in the process of recruiting and training thousands of police officials of all races for deployment throughout the country,” she said.

Police National Commissioner Jackie Selebi had emphasised the need to retain all skills and expertise in the police service, said De Beer.

The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) earlier expressed shock that the police would reduce the number of whites, particularly “at a time when crime is so rife in the country”.

“It is shocking that the force would focus its attention on white-black personnel ratios, instead of providing solutions for the crisis,” said ACDP leader, the Reverend Kenneth Meshoe.

He said police failures had consistently been linked to a lack of resources and manpower.

“Encouraging a further exodus of skilled and experienced personnel is, therefore, short-sighted and highly irresponsible.”

Meshoe said the interests of South Africans would be far better served by urgent attention to the ratio of police officers per community instead.—Sapa

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