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'SA lacks detective skills'

The Police's Portfolio Committee says detective services are often treated as inferior within SAPS.

Police forensic teams arrive on the scene after a man killed his family and attempted to end his own life in Khayelitsha on 29 March 2012. Picture: Malungelo Booi/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Parliament's Police's Portfolio Committee on Wednesday said detective services were often treated as inferior within the South African Police Service (SAPS.)

The committee is holding a day-long conference, looking into the country's detective services.

On paper, it appears as if the country's detective services are doing relatively well.

For example, the detective crime rate against women 18 years or older, was just over 71 percent in the 2010/11financial year.

The target was set between 68 and 75 percent.

But after digging through the numbers, shortcomings emerged.

Only 34 percent of the cases were ready for court.

The Public Service Commission assesses the SAPS' performance constantly, and it has found that the training and retraining of detectives is not up to scratch.

It also found 70 percent of police stations countrywide do not have a sufficient number of detective officers.

Earlier this week, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa noted it was important that police officers received ongoing training.

Mthethwa believes it could help police investigate sexual offences against woman more efficiently.