Crime fighting in South Africa has been given a major boost with the South African Police Service (SAPS) putting more resources into training detectives.
Speaking at the first National Convention for Detectives recently held in Hamanskraal, Gauteng, National Police Commissioner General Riah Phiyega said millions had been invested in improving detectives’ skills.
“A total of R42 million had been allocated to the training of detectives and 4 415 members were trained in various programmes, with 4 091 members attending short-term interaction courses,” she said.
Detectives are police officers who are trained to investigate crimes in specialised areas such as murder, robbery, narcotics, family violence and car theft. They work with officers and forensic specialists to gather and analyse evidence, inter- view witnesses and identify suspects. Detectives play a critical role in ensuring that criminals appear in court.
General Phiyega said resources were also allocated to improve detectives' working conditions.
This included vehicles, laptops, steel and lock- able filing cabinets, cooler boxes for exhibits and freezers for Stock Theft Units.
At the convention, a strategy to retain detectives was also agreed on.
In addition, delegates agreed that special measures should be taken to protect whistle-blowers.
General Phiyega stressed that detectives and other police offices needed to display a culture of service delivery and client satisfaction.
Earlier this year 1 002 police officers graduated in different sectors enhancing their skills in the fi against crime. Of the group that graduated, 331 were detectives.
*Colonel Teddy Kommal works for SAPS