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‘Lack of Saps leadership may result in organised crime spike’

The ISS says the service has people with skills and experience, but they are not in the top jobs.

Picture: Saps

CAPE TOWN - Police have enough money and staff to get on top of an upsurge in violent crime but a lack of leadership is allowing it to go unchecked, members of Parliament (MPs) were told on Tuesday.

Gareth Newham of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) was briefing Parliament's police portfolio committee on Tuesday where the South African Police Service (Saps) budget and action plan came under the spotlight.

Newham said the number of armed robberies has grown by 18,000 in the past two years. This equates to 237 attacks a day and left unchecked, this will fuel more crime.

"The one crime that the police can get on top of is robbery. That they are not doing so should be severely worrying to all South Africans because it will ultimately lead to a growth in organised crime."

Newham said the police service has people with skills and experience, but they are not in the top jobs.

"We are going to face a problem that will only grow until we have the leadership in the police who know what they are doing."

Newham said the wrong people were being appointed, primarily for political reasons.