The South African Police Service (SAPS) is seeking partnerships with communities to curb the incidence of police killings.
Between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018, a total of 85 police officers were killed throughout the country.
“Too many of our members have lost their lives at the hands of criminals both on and off duty and the scourge unfortunately continues.
“Our police men and women are human beings of flesh and blood. They are fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, who lead normal lives just like anybody else,” said the Deputy National Police Commissioner, General Christine Mgwenya.
Speaking at the launch of the Anti-Police Killing Awareness campaign in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria, Mgwenya called on communities throughout the country to expose police killers and criminal activities in their midst.
Mgwenya appealed to locals to work with the police in the fight against crime.
“All SAPS members should be able to perform their duties free of fear so that they can ensure a safe and secure environment for inhabitants of South Africa.
“We are appealing to everyone on all levels of society, young and old, to stand together with the South African Police Service to stop the ruthless criminals who threaten the stability and peace on our country.”
Mgwenya said SAPS management has identified several strategies, including the review of the National Police Safety Strategy, to ensure that its members are safe.
“We can have many police safety initiatives and plans in place but we will never succeed if we do not have the buy in and cooperation of our communities,” General Mgwenya said.
In most instances, police officers are killed while responding to complaints, effecting arrests, at stop-and-search operations by suspects resisting arrests, and they are also lured to their death with false complaints.
The police are also murdered for their firearms, which criminals use to commit serious and violent crimes. Officers are sometimes killed off duty in full view of their families and loved ones.
The Anti-Police Killing Campaign kicked-off with the staging of roadblocks at various strategic areas in Soshanguve, where police officers stopped and searched vehicles.
At the same time, senior members of SAPS visited orphanages in Soshanguve.
Phineus Malada, from Soshanguve Block LL, said he is willing to work with the police to ensure that police killers are brought to book.
“We need police officers in our communities because they are the ones who are protecting us,” he said.
Godfrey Sibanyoni from Block VV said police killers don’t deserve to live freely in communities.
“Police killers must rot in jail,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za