Monday, July 16, 2007

South African Police Not Up to Par

South Africa dreams of a strong police presence in the months leading up to the 2010 World Cup.

The country's staggering crime rate has been a contentious point for not having the Finals there. This, from Wikipedia:

According to a survey for the period 1998–2000 compiled by the United Nations, South Africa was ranked second for assault and murder (by all means) per capita, in addition to being ranked second for rape and first for rapes per capita. Total crime per capita is tenth out of the sixty countries in the data set. Nevertheless, crime has had a pronounced effect on society: many wealthier South Africans move into gated communities, abandoning the central business districts of some cities for the relative security of suburbs. This effect is most pronounced in Johannesburg, although the trend is noticeable in other cities as well. Many emigrants from South Africa also state that crime was a big motivator for them to leave.

South Africa has vowed to clean up their house by growing the police force. The government hopes to dispel their crime-riddled image and make the anticipated throngs of visitors from around the world feel safe.

That's why today's news from South Africa is so disheartening. According to news reports, just 500 of 15,000 applicants are qualified for jobs as Johannesburg police officers.

According to the article, police spokesperson Wayne Minnaar says applicants undergo literacy and numeracy proficiency assessments before being interviewed.

Once OKed, the applicants undergo a six-month basic training course. Then there's six more months in the field.

"The training includes criminal procedures, ethics, evidence procedures, fire arm skills, basic first aid, accident recording and advanced driver training."

They will then be trained in the field and will learn to open dockets, take fingerprints and witness statements.

"We hope to have a strong force by the time of the World Cup," he said.

The government better hurry up. The new officers need to be out in the field now - working. Hopefully this situation can be resolved in the coming months.

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