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70 firearms from WC police lost or stolen over last 20 months

Earlier this year, the Safer Cities report revealed access to illegal firearms was one of the main factors driving violence in the province.

FILE: SA Police Service members. Picture: SAPS.

CAPE TOWN - In the last 20 months, 70 firearms have been lost or stolen from police stations in the Western Cape.

Eyewitness News has exclusively learnt in the last financial year alone, 24 were stolen and 13 were reported lost.

Earlier this year, the Safer Cities report revealed access to illegal firearms was one of the main factors driving violence in the province.

In a written reply to the MEC for Community Safety, the South African Police Service (SAPS) reported 13 firearms have been lost and 24 stolen in the 2016/2017 financial year.

The provincial police commissioner earlier this year told Parliament that an additional 33 police weapons had gone missing from two police stations in the current financial year.

That brings to 70 the number of SAPS weapons unaccounted for.

The Democratic Alliance (DA)'s Mireille Wenger said: “The theft of police firearms is gravely concerning. Further questions need to be asked to be determined how stolen and lost firearms have been recovered."

Police have only recovered three of those firearms which means there are 67 illegal firearms floating around.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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