In a briefing to the Police Portfolio Committee last week, the Social Justice Coalition (SJC) highlighted that almost without exception, relatively rich, predominantly white areas with very low contact crime rates, had far more police officers for every 100 000 people than poor, predominantly black areas with high contact crime rates. Given that the Theoretical Human Resource Requirements (THRR) broadly guided the actual allocations throughout the country, there could be little doubt that the system perpetuated this pattern of discrimination. According to SJC, the South African Police Services (SAPS), failed to factor in the incidence of under-reporting, which was not uniform across police precincts, when allocating human resources. It believed there was a need to overhaul the THRR, and give substance to the right to life for poor and working class black Africans.
Some of the highlights of their presentation showed that despite the average national ratio of 1 police officer for 369 people in 2016:
- Central Cape Town had a 1:59 police to population ratio compared to 1:623 in Nyanga
- 281 murders were committed in Nyanga, compared to 11 in central Cape Town
- 356 sexual offences committed in Nyanga, compared to 47 in the city
- Nationally, 82% of white victims reported theft of personal property to police compared to just 26% of Black African victims
See infographic below for more: