The wheels are coming off policing in the Eastern Cape as vehicles stand still and crime runs on.
“The fact that Kirkwood police station only had one vehicle operating yesterday on Wednesday 22 January for an area servicing 1 327 square km, and police arrived on bicycles to deal with a house robbery in Mount Croix in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday 21 January, highlights the massive shortage of operating vehicles in the SAPS in this province”, said Bobby Stevenson from the DA.
Both the East London and Port Elizabeth flying squads also operate with between two and three vehicles a day which is massively understrength.
It’s time to stop the rot and get police vehicles speedily back on the road when repairs are undertaken.
The provincial top brass are out of touch with reality and are failing to distinguish between the number of vehicles on a station’s strength and those that are actually fully operational.
This chronic shortage at Kirkwood makes a mockery of rural safety needs. How can the SAPS respond adequately to a farm attack or violent crime in the community?
Hard working and dedicated police members and reservists are being frustrated by the lack of available vehicles to get the job done across this province. This is both impacting on police morale as well as the effectiveness to combat crime.
The huge delays in vehicle turnaround times in garages were highlighted by the Eastern Cape Government’s Safety Portfolio Committee report last year with vehicles sitting in repair shops for months at a time.
We need a well-managed, well-resourced police service in the Eastern Cape that works for all the people so the right climate for job creation is established in our province.