There are hundreds of cops in this country who are alleged to be involved in criminal activities, says Opposition Senator Saddam Hosein.
Hosein said last week senators received the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) report for 2018, which stated that some 725 reports were made against police officers to the PCA for the period October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018.
Hosein was speaking on The Miscellaneous Provisions (Law Enforcement Officers) Bill, 2019 at yesterday’s Senate sitting.
These statistics, he said, are worrying and remain an issue that must be addressed.
Hosein said a breakdown was given in the report on the allegations made against the police officers. They were:
Police corruption — 29
Serious police misconduct — 389
The commission of a criminal offence by a police officer — 255
Hosein said no time frame was given as to when these matters are dealt with and disposed of.
He said, according to the report, the types of criminal offences these officers engage in include:
Assault — 176
Larceny — 58
Fraud and corruption — 54
These offences, he said, speak to credibility of police officers.
Hosein said there is need to take a look at the recruitment exercise and the subculture of the Police Service “because if we have to come to this Parliament to bring a bill to increase fines to deter our police officers from committing criminal offences, we have a serious issue and it goes inconsistent with the Government’s policy”.
He said there was a contradiction in Government’s policy as he noted this week there is legislation to deal with the issue of conduct of officers.
Last week, he said, there was the Bail (Amendment) Bill which could be abused by officers to “frame citizens” and deny them bail for up to 120 days.
Hosein also noted that special reserve police (SRPs) do not fall under the purview of the PCA as he noted that these officers fall under a separate act of Parliament.
He noted that the PCA report raised concern about this and made a recommendation that the PCA Act also be amended so that SRPs can fall under the regulations so they can also be treated by the PCA on issues of serious allegations.
Hosein said according to the Police Manpower Audit Report, there are 1,477 full-time SRP officers and 626 part-time officers and so there is a large complement of officers that will not be captured under this particular legislation.