Sun. Nov 17th, 2019

Scathing Solidarity report claims Flying Squad is understaffed

SAPS Flying SquadTrade Union Solidarity says the elite Flying Squad is being cannibalised by other policing units within the SAPS.

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Solidarity, acting on behalf of its members in the Flying Squad, has released a report claiming that the South African Police Service Flying Squad is not even close to operating at full capacity.

Understaffed Flying Squad

The report, compiled by Ronel Stander, says that several Flying Squad members have been recruited into other divisions of the police force, leaving the elite emergency response unit short-staffed.

“Solidarity acts on behalf of a number of our members stationed at the Flying Squad and we state that the unit is not operating at full capacity because 52 of its members have been absorbed into other units,” the report reads.

“Thirty-two are deployed at the Provincial Reaction Team while 20 were called up by the Major Offences Reaction Team (Mort).

The problem with members help out with Mort is that unit works very irregular hours, which leaves other units will be short-staffed outside of the time that Mort is operational.

“The members of Mort work from Thursday to Sunday from 16:00 to 2:00. From Monday to Wednesday they are on rest days. This means the other stations in the province, where there is a serious crime at any given time, don’t have sufficient members on duty.

“With the shortage of staff and the condition of the vehicles at the Flying Squad, it operates on a skeleton staff.

“The K9 Unit commander was instructed to give six of his members to Mort without their police dogs, but he has submitted reasons why he will not be able to do so.”

Other issues

In terms of vehicles, Stander found that some officers were driving police cars with over 500 000km on the clock.

There also appears to be some level of internal politics that needs to be ironed out. Mort is run in parallel to the Anti-Gang Unit so there is a possibility that roles are being duplicated across the two units.

Police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana told IOL the SAPS would give comment once the relevant officials had been given time to read over the report in its entirety.

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