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Why 27% of W. Cape cops have to return their guns

In a written reply from the SAPS to the DA’s Western Cape spokesperson on Community Safety, it was revealed that 27% of officers had to return their firearms.

Picture: SAPS

CAPE TOWN - The number of Western Cape Police officers who have failed the firearms competency test is at an all-time high.

In a written reply from the SAPS to the DA’s Western Cape spokesperson on Community Safety, it was revealed that 27% of officers had to return their firearms.

The chairperson of the Standing Committee on Community Safety in the Western Cape Legislature, Mireille Wenger, says that the implications of not completing competency tests are severe, especially in communities where policing is needed.

"This is a grave concern because we know we have a shortage of police officers in the Western Cape and in some areas there is only one officer for every 700 residents. We simply can’t have a situation where we have less police officers deployed in communities because they haven’t complete their competency tests."

During the 2015/2016 financial year more than 3,900 officers failed the test.

The following year, it was more than 3,100 and in the past financial year over 4,500 were declared incompetent.

Wenger says they will conduct an oversight visit to the Western Cape Shooting Range Complex in the coming weeks.