Sitole to brief Parliament on new Anti-Gang Unit

Monday, November 26, 2018

National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole will on Tuesday brief Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Police on the recently established Anti-Gang Unit.

In a statement, committee chairperson Francois Beukman said the committee regards the establishment of the unit as an important step to ensure that there are strategic and appropriate operational responses to gang related crime in specific police precincts in the country.

“The aim of the briefing is to get an update from the National Commissioner and his management team on the establishment of the unit, the operational capabilities, human resources and recent successes of the unit,” said Beukman.

He said the committee expects police management to ensure that specialised units have the necessary equipment and technological capability to deal with the emerging crime trends effectively.

“Also, the committee will engage police management about the possible roll-out of the Anti-Gang Unit to other metropolitan areas in the Republic," Beukman said. 

This, he said, follows calls from communities in the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan for the deployment of the unit in the Eastern Cape due to the upsurge of gang related deaths and violence in the greater Port Elizabeth-Uitenhage Area.

“The recommendations of the National Development Plan are very clear that specialised units should be re-established with highly trained and professional police officers. The National Development Plan also states that specialised units should be deployed when and where they are most needed - during peak crime periods and in high-risk areas,” he said. 

Beukman emphasised that much more effort and focus should be given by the National Police Management to the administrative and structural finalisation of specialised units within SAPS.  

The committee is of the view that the long delay in the finalisation of the approved structure of the two specialised units of the Hawks (DPCI) to deal with illegal fire-arms and narcotics is a case in point. 

“Crime-fighting cannot be compromised by long drawn out processes where there are no clear deadlines and milestones to finalise and sign-off resource projects,” he said.  

The Portfolio committee added that it is of the view that the police management should develop a clear time-table for the re-introduction of specialised units that are link to the MTEF- framework and emerging crime-trends with a project plan for each new unit. -