Shock of the day
South Africa is the holy land of backlogs. There are backlogs concerning asylum seekers and their refugee permits, low cost housing, electricity supply, service delivery, forensics, tracking down of serial rapists and burglars, and decent toilets. Now there seems to be a backlog in providing detectives with a proper training. Yes, that is right: about 25% of South Africa’s 20 022 detectives lack the requisite 14 weeks of training for the job.
That comes down to almost 5000 men and women who have only undergone two weeks of training in detective work, that forms part of the curriculum for all police officers.
Personally, I find this a tad on the scary and shocking side. If a detective – supposedly one of the most important members of a police squad – is not able to do his or her job properly because of a lack of training, it simply means that a) criminal cases have a lesser chance of being solved and b) perpetrators a higher chance of walking free.
I am puzzled and baffled by this news. Why? Over the past years, the budget for crime prevention – providing cops with adequate training falls under this, I presume – and the police has grown significantly over the years. Where has this money gone to?
What I find interesting is that earlier this year, in May, South Africa’s police minister Nathi Mthetwha proudly announced an increase of detectives. ” … in last year’s Budget Vote we committed ourselves to increase the number of detectives on levels 1-7 by 19% by the end of the financial year. We surpassed the target and our growth now stands at 22,4%. This demonstrates the seriousness with which we take the criminal justice system outcomes. In this growth we have 20 022 detectives as we speak.”
Great news, Honorable Minister, but you forgot to mention that these qualified detectives were not adequately trained to do detective work. Oopsy-daisy.
In addition, dearest minister, what is the flippin’ point of delivering and investing in much-needed manpower when in the end of the day these detectives are – I am sorry I have to say this – pretty much useless in doing what they are supposed to do?