2009-10-08: Shooting Shock

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2009-10-08: Shooting Shock

Postby GOSA » Mon, 2009-11-16 09:18

http://www.citizen.co.za/index/article. ... 4%2c1%2c22

Shooting shock


JOHANNESBURG - Shoot to kill, says President Jacob Zuma, as does

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, National Police Commissioner
Bheki Cele and former Deputy Police Minister Susan Shabangu.

But can our officers actually hit what they aim at?

According to Mthethwa´s office, only a quarter of police
officers may be receiving regular firearms training, and many
are not even making it to the bare minimum of required practice

This disclosure was made when the police ministry recently
responded to a parliamentary question about the state of affairs
at seven East Rand police stations - and it now has opposition
politicians fretting about the implications nationally.

Mthetwa said only 25% of officers at these stations had attended

shooting practice this year, down from 64% in 2007. At two
stations, only 3% of their officers had gone to the range, and
the highest attendance level was a dismal 40%.

Last year, only 23% of these officers had attended practice, and
at one station, no one had participated at all.

According to the police ministry, officers in low-risk jobs are
required to attend firearms training at least once a year. Those
in higher-risk jobs need to sharpen their skills at least twice
every 12 months.

Democratic Alliance MP Mike Waters says the figures are doubly
worrying, given the tough approach to crime now being touted by
government and the police service.

He now fears police officers that heed Shabangu´s urgings to
"kill the bastards!" could find themselves in over their heads
or endangering innocent bystanders.

Waters feels the SA Police Service (SAPS) is endangering the
lives of officers by failing to maintain their skills, and has
vowed to ask more questions in Parliament. He said that the
public needed to know "why this state of affairs was allowed to
come about in the first place" and what Mthethwa was doing to
remedy it.

The MP now wants the police ministry to "at least" ensure that
all officers are trained continually in the use of firearms. He
said the SAPS head office should push for this, but noted it
would only work if provincial police departments evaluated
individual stations to ensure the minimum requirements were
adhered to.
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