| The Western Cape’s crippling police shortage by numbers

The Western Cape has the highest shortage of police officers in the country, with 85% of police stations in the province understaffed. The standing committee on community safety in the Western Cape legislature asked the Public Service Commission (PSC) to investigate last year after it held a series of public hearings into the matter.

The PSC has since completed its investigation and released its reportNews24’s Jenna Etheridge unpacks some of the stark numbers that prompted the PSC’s investigation and highlighted the state of policing in the province.

2 392 – The number of police vacancies in the province in 2014, according to parliamentary replies. 

2 375 – The number of officers who left the police service between 2011/12 and 2015/16, mostly through resignation and discharge.

1 012 – The shortage of police officers in the Western Cape, according to a National Assembly reply in 2013. This was in comparison to Gauteng, which had the next highest shortage of 748 officers.

222 – The number of new police recruits in 2013, as opposed to 1 103 new recruits for the province in 2005.

128 – The amount of understaffed police stations in the Western Cape. This means that 85% of police stations were understaffed.

51 – The number of dogs the Maitland K9 unit had despite being equipped with more than 150 kennels seen by the committee during an oversight visit in 2015. 

25 – The number of dockets that each detective should have in terms of the national norm. The committee found that police stations in the Cape Town metro, except Claremont in the Southern Suburbs, had in excess of this.

21 – The number of police stations in the Cape Town metro that had less than one officer for every 500 people. These were almost all in high-crime communities. 

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