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Police Ministry defends its processes to track stolen weapons

On Tuesday, it emerged a staggering 2000 firearms were stolen from police armouries in the past four years.

Picture: SAPS

CAPE TOWN - The Police Ministry has defended the processes it follows to trace stolen or missing service pistols.

On Tuesday, it emerged a staggering 2000 firearms were stolen from police armouries in the past four years.

Since April this year, 248 firearms which were supposedly safe and sound in police care have gone missing across South Africa.

And since 2014, a small arsenal of 2,027 South African Police Services (SAPS) firearms in total have been listed as stolen.

Police Ministry spokesperson Vuyo Mhaga says they acknowledge the scale of the problem and they know the pressure is on to fix it.

But the Democratic Alliance’s Dianne Kohler Barnard says that mere promises are not enough and that she wants decisive action from police bosses.

The problem is of particular concern to residents of the Western Cape, where earlier this year, a safer cities report cited access to illegal weapons as one of the main drivers of violent crime in the province.

And Western Cape Police have yet to make any headway in their search for weapons stolen from the Bellville South and Mitchells Plain police stations.