More protective measures against Covid-19 needed for police

Issued by Bobby Stevenson, MPL
Shadow MEC for Safety and Security

The Democratic Alliance is highly concerned by the number of police stations that are being impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak in the Province and are calling for more protective measures to be put in place.

At least 10 stations across the province have closed their doors in the past week while top officials, including provincial commissioner, lieutenant general Liziwe Ntshinga, have tested positive for the virus.

When police stations go down, the crime rate goes up.

Today Midlands Constituency Leader, Retief Odendaal. MPL and I conducted an oversight inspection at the Middelburg Police Station, which was temporarily closed after acting station commander, Captain Andrew Leslie, passed away from Covid-19.

On behalf of the Democratic Alliance, we also expressed our heartfelt condolences to the SAPS colleagues of Captain Leslie.

While the station is operational again, and police have access to sanitisers and masks, there are no screens in the Community Service Centre. It is urgent that the same types of screens that are being used in supermarkets are deployed to police stations across the province, to protect those who are at the forefront in the fight against the disease.

I have submitted questions to the MEC of Safety and Liaison, Weziwe Tikana Gxothiwe, in this regard.

It is also of vital importance that the turnaround times in testing needs to be improved.

We need to pull out all the stops to ensure that our SAPS frontline workers are fully protected, so that the downtime of police stations does not result in increased criminal activity.

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