The Inkatha Freedom Party calls for a nationwide investigation into how police uniforms and equipment fall into wrong hands thereby allowing criminals to impersonate police officers.
"The arrest of two suspects in Jolivet in the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal who were allegedly involved in robberies while impersonating police officers raises serious questions about how these criminals managed to get police uniforms. These days it is easier for criminals to impersonate a police officer which enables them to commit serious crimes on unsuspecting victims," said IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson on Community Safety and Liaison, Mr Blessed Gwala, MPL.
"We appeal to the police management and KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Community Safety and Liaison Mxolisi Kaunda to ensure that these suspects are telling the truth about where do they got these police uniforms. We need to know who supplied them with the uniforms and if there is a factory where they buy these uniforms to commit criminal activities. We need to be serious about this matter because people are being robbed and harassed by these so called “police officers”. If government fails to resolve this matter the public will not trust honest police officers in the execution of their duties," continued Mr Gwala.
"Criminals who are caught wearing and selling police uniforms must be severely dealt with. The indiscriminate wearing of police uniform by civilians is causing damage to the reputation of the police service. Unauthorised persons have taken advantage of the proliferation of imitation uniforms bearing close resemblance to the official police uniforms to falsely represent themselves as members of the SAPS. We call on the public to report such cases at their local police station. I will ask the MEC for a full briefing on criminality within the SAPS in the province, the issuing and control of uniforms, equipment and official police regalia, as well as information regarding their pro-active approach to combat crime within the police service," concluded Mr Gwala.
The IFP demands that there must be a thorough investigation into the illegal manufacturing of police uniforms, bulletproof vests, name tags and beanies, and their sale. It further calls on the public to be cautious of criminals wearing police uniforms who harass and rob them.
Mr Blessed Gwala
IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson on Community Safety and Liaison
078 290 5842