2009-10-23: Police lose more guns every year

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2009-10-23: Police lose more guns every year

Postby GOSA » Mon, 2009-11-16 14:45

Police lose more guns every year

JOHANNESBURG - The police have already lost 437 more firearms than the 2 507 that went missing last year, "losing" the equivalent of three firearms at each police station in the country.

By September 30, 2 944 SA Police Service firearms were unaccounted for and the country is now bracing for a "massive rise" in missing weapons. Last year's figures already amount to a shocking 30,4% increase, compared to 2007's 1 923 missing police guns.

"How is it even possible to lose a firearm?" asked Democratic Alliance MP Dianne Kohler-Barnard yesterday. "This dire state of affairs is completely unacceptable."

Barnard questioned the point of forcing strict firearm legislation on members of the public when the police were "losing their firearms in droves" at the same time.

Kohler-Barnard said her party also had information showing more and more police officers failing to hand in service weapons when they left the employ of the police. In 2006, just seven police officers had failed to hand in their service weapons; this number rose to 40 in 2007, and 65 last year.

According to Kohler-Barnard, the police have recovered 100% of civilian firearms lost during the year, plus 6% of civilian firearms lost in the previous year. At the same time, however, they had only managed to recover 15% of lost SAPS firearms.

"It is the lost police weapons that are in the hands of SA's criminals," said Kohler-Barnard, adding she intends to urge Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to urgently place the matter on his agenda, so rectifying measures can be implemented.
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