Police corruption will not be tolerated, says minister

Corruption and ill-discipline in the police service will not be tolerated, Safety and Security Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Monday.

Speaking to the media at the crime summit 2008 in Midrand, Mthethwa said police officers involved in corrupt and other criminal activity such as organised crime need to recuse themselves from the service.

”Ill-discipline together with corruption can lead to people dying in some instances,” he said, referring to allegations of deaths in police cells.

”We are up in arms against those who belong to, who are part of the organisation … corruption will not be tolerated,” he said.

Addressing corruption is a challenging task. However, it needs to be fought.

”Whilst the line between what constitutes corruption and what is merely ill-discipline is often blurred, the results are the same — that is the loss of public confidence in the police and an environment where crime is able to flourish.”

Mthethwa said there needs to be more synergy in the fight against crime and that communication, coordination and accountability are key in strengthening this.

”Having information is not enough; what is important is what we do with this information.

”It is the effective communication of this information that will contribute to the success or failure of our approach.”

Crime intelligence plays a central role in not only preventing, but combating crime, he said.

”Our approach to crime prevention and visible policing needs to be highly focused and a higher premium placed on crime prevention.”

Mthethwa said there has also been a ”lot of talk” about aspects of the legislative regime that are a hindrance because they favour the perpetrators and not the victims. This required informed debate and assessment.

”[We need to] ensure that we debate the matter from an informed position and not shoot from the hip.”

Also, there needs to be a balance between the human rights culture enshrined in the Constitution and the genuine feelings of people.

He said often government officials face pressure from people who are understandably upset by the crime situation.

”What becomes important is that instead of making sweeping statements we must rationally consider what the specific aspects are that need to be discussed,” he said. — Sapa

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