Institute: Cop crime involvement concerning

The Institute of Race Relations and AfriForum released the report in Pretoria on Wednesday.

FILE: The Institute of Race Relations and AfriForum have released their report titled The Broken Blue Line. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

PRETORIA - A study investigating the level of police involvement in serious and violent crime has shown such incidents are not isolated.

The Institute of Race Relations and AfriForum released the report, titled The Broken Blue Line, in Pretoria on Wednesday.

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The report was compiled following a study of 100 cases of serious crimes involving police officers as reported by media.

Police maintain the methodology used is flawed.

The institute's Frans Cronje says, "We don't think these are just isolated incidents that are unrelated to each other. We think they are starting to speak to a pattern of behaviour that's a systemic problem."

The group said evidence of a systemic problem needed urgent attention.

Cronje says the evidence suggests criminal gangs have infiltrated the police.

"The nature of some of these offences, things like hijackings, cigarette trucks and so on, you don't sell that out of the back of your house. These are organised criminal activities and there must therefore be a degree of infiltration."

Cronje says well-trained and keen young officers are turning to crime.

"They are placed in an environment that is so infested with corrupt behaviour that those officers are eventually corrupt."

Police spokesperson Solomon Makgale says the report's conclusions are without basis.

"They draw conclusions on the basis of newspaper reports. It's incorrect to say the officers are corrupt."

Makgale says police are willing to work with any research institution in a bid to root out corruption.

Meanwhile, two Pretoria metro police officers were arrested on Tuesday after they allegedly solicited a bribe from a motorist.

The duo allegedly robbed Linda Robertse after she refused to pay a bribe before threatening to shoot her three-year-old child.