Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is planning for an extra 22 447 police officers to be recruited by the 2012/13 financial year, primarily to strengthen detective services and crime intelligence.
“Government is determined to curb the unacceptably high level of crime,” he said in his medium-term budget policy statement tabled in Parliament on Tuesday. But he added: “We recognise, however, that the police alone cannot resolve high crime levels. The fight against crime must include enhancing partnerships, strengthening social security and creating jobs, along with the review of the criminal justice system. Other public spending priorities, such as health, education, job creation and social security, are essential contributions to creating safer communities.”
The extra cops will increase the number of police from 185 313 at present to 207 760 in 2012/13. The fight against organised crime will be boosted through a proposed additional allocation for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation. Staff numbers in this directorate will increase from 350 investigators in 2009/10 to 2 400 investigators by 2012/13. The Scorpions — the previous Directorate of Special Operations — employed fewer than 500 investigators.
The implementation of legislation promoting the rights of women and children is being strengthened. The reprioritisation of spending and additional resources over the medium term will enable stepped up staffing levels to support the implementation of the Children’s Act (2005), the Child Justice Act (2008), and the Sexual Offences Act (2007). — I-Net Bridge