Friday, April 8, 2011

SA Stats Annual Report 2008


Did you know that between April 2007 and March 2008 nearly 4000 South Africans reported their groceries being stolen?

Or that 24 police officers were found guilty of taking unauthorised naps? And what about the 147 shoe-prints analysed in police laboratories?

These are some of the countless - and at times useless - statistics scattered inside the police's latest annual report.

The 250-page document was tabled in parliament last week, and opened with acting national commissioner Tim Williams saying officers could "safely pat ourselves on the back" despite a year filled with "complexities".

One of the "complexities" is probably the reason why Williams is signing the report in the first place. His boss, Jackie Selebi, was charged for corruption and placed on special leave.

ATM bombings rocketed, overall crime statistics bounced up and down and the massive restructuring process pushed ahead.

The 2008 report covers everything, from how much money police spent on "plant, flowers and other decorations" - which was R449 000 - to how many operations members of the Special Task Force conducted (184, including 37 hostage negotiations).

The statistics reported in this article were chosen randomly. For context and comparative figures, the full report should be read.

The South African Police Service has 173 241 officers - a fair share of whom are administrative workers. By March 2011 they hope to break through the 200 000 barrier. There are currently 30 596 detectives in the service.

To make it all work, a budget of R36-billion is available, or R36 386 105 000, if you want to be exact, which the top brass has no difficulty spending, down to the last R43.

To "shoot the bastards", as deputy minister of Safety and Security Suzan Shabangu encourages our officers to do, officers have 207 323 firearms and R62,8-million to spend on ammunition.

To make sure the "bastards" don't kill them, they have 165 505 bullet-proof vests. However, 107 officers still fell in the line of duty.

There are 40 509 cars, of which 11 394 are new, while 8 206 have done more than 200 000km. In Gauteng, there are 7 957 police cars.

But police cars are useless if officers aren't at work. According to the report, the total days taken by members as sick leave in 2007 stands at 1 071 682, with each officer taking an average of 10 days.

The number of officers who took sick leave during the year is 102 550, which cost an estimated R427,2-million. (The total number of days taken in leave works out to more than 3 000 years, which is longer than humanity has been recording calendar days).

To help those who are healthy, the police bought 5 576 computers, 322 printers, 312 laptops and 162 digital cameras and video cameras.

More than 64 000 firearms were destroyed and 14 650 new officers recruited (against the 3 240 who left, including 36 dismissals). The total number of reservists - to help our men and women in blue - stands at 66 394.

There were 664 escapes from custody (141 in Gauteng) and over 2,3-million people were taken into custody (but not necessarily charged). A total of 199 officers were suspended for corruption-related offences.

Unruly protests saw 3 386 people arrested; 126 825kg of dagga worth R177-million was seized (excluding the amounts taken at borders); police pilots spent 10 393 hours in the air; 76 003 crime scenes were photo-graphed; 6 332 facial compositions (identity kits) were drawn; 7 557 DNA investigations took place (out of a total of 53 536 biological tests); and 80 people were arrested for "skimming" credit cards. For shoplifting, 37 759 people were arrested.

A new unit was set up to look after foreign diplomats in Pretoria and "follow the appropriate etiquette" when dealing with them. Embassies, homes and the offices of international organisations received special attention, but didn't stop 243 complaints (resulting in 135 dockets) being reported.

Diplomats were involved in 75 car accidents.

The homes of our own VIPs saw nine security breaches, and none while they were being transported. There was also a 100% "safe delivery" of high-profile/dangerous/psychotic prisoners.

On the finance front, the police spent R32-million on advertising; R37 000 on catering; R14,7-million on entertainment and R75,4-million on legal fees.
And finally, in case you were wondering, of the 147 shoe-print investigations, 74 came out "positive" and aided detectives' investigations.

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