The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) has said its distraught over the rise in police killings in the country. In the latest incident, two police officers were shot dead in Kraaifontein, Cape Town, in the early hours of Saturday, 27 February 2021.

“The issue of police killings is of serious concern, and can no longer be overlooked, and therefore requires communities to also fully participate in jointly ensuring the safety if our residential areas,” said Popcru spokesperson Richard Mamabolo in a statement.

 “Part of the problem can be attributed to the challenges of understaffing and the uneven allocation of resources to these men and women in blue; therefore, having to stretch their operations across a broader number of community populations in smaller groups, increasing their likelihood of being attacked”

Popcru: Police officers must remain vigilant at all times

The latest killing brings the total number of slain officers in a space of ten days to six. Popcru has said the violence has had an adverse effect on police officers but also generates fear and lawlessness throughout our society.

The two officers from the Kraaifontein police station were ambushed while on duty. They were also robbed of their firearms and died at the scene. Several days prior, four other police officers were killed in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).

“These attempts must be nipped in the bud, and the best possible way can be through working on improving community-policing relations,” Mamabolo said.

 “It is a challenge that will continue if no urgent action is taken in ensuring more boots on the ground, and we call on police officers to remain vigilant, and to act decisively in the case they come across such ill-intended people who have developed the audacity to raise firearms at them, but also to take precautionary measures when carrying out their work, especially within the environments they patrol”

Popcru has also called on the South African Police Service (SAPS) management to urgently kick-start the process of restructuring and for the amendment of the Criminal Procedure Act so it allows police officers to defend themselves in line with the law.

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Presh JM Reporter

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