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Inefficiencies in Police Force Lead to 283 Struck-off Cases in Western Cape Courts

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

In the Western Cape, administrative lapses within the police force have led to a shocking total of 283 cases being struck off the court roll, according to recent provincial police oversight and community safety Court Watching Briefs (CWB) unit reports.

The courts monitored during this period were primarily in the northern suburbs of Cape Town, including Bishop Lavis, Blue Downs, Bellville, Goodwood, and Kuils River. The highest incidents of incomplete investigations were reported in police stations in Kraaifontein and Kuils River. These inefficiencies included missing court dockets, outstanding forensic reports, and failure to subpoena witnesses.

Of the struck-off cases, 84 involved murder charges. Notably, 77 of the cases related to gender-based violence, with the rest linked to aggravated robbery, drug possession and dealing, and possession of firearms and ammunition.

Reagen Allen, Provincial Police Oversight and Community Safety MMC, described these statistics as a "grim picture", indicating numerous victims were failed by the criminal system. Officers' overwhelming caseloads, sometimes exceeding 200 dockets each, were mentioned as a contributing factor to these inadequate investigations.

In response to these findings, Allen plans to engage with Lieutenant General Thembisile Patekile, the provincial police commissioner, to decide if the investigating officers should be held accountable for their incompetency. Furthermore, Allen will meet with Nicolette Bell, the Director of Public Prosecutions, to address the 'disconnect' between investigators and prosecutors and develop improvement strategies.

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