Stringent selection, excellent training, dedication and good salaries will make the difference for SA Police
National Police Day has been celebrated annually in South Africa on 27 January since 2005. The day was declared to give recognition to the services rendered by the men and women in blue to all the people of South Africa, and to honour those who sacrificed their lives in the execution of their duties.
The day is also intended to indicate to the country and the rest of the world that the South African Police is respected for the law and order as well as the safety and security it provides to the people of South Africa.
While UASA salutes all those police officers who are truly and earnestly dedicated to rooting out corruption and crime in society, it is evident that the South African Police Service still has an unacceptably high number of corrupt and crooked officials in its own ranks. One only needs to read the daily newspapers for confirmation of this sad and humiliating fact.
The selection process of police officers needs to be exceptionally stringent and their training should be comparable to that in the rest of the civilised world. There should be no room in the South African Police for incompetent officers who don't know the basics of service delivery, let alone respect for other people's lives or property.
To effectively safeguard the community against crime, there is no place for racism, nepotism or corruption in the police. Law enforcement officers who steal, rape, solicit or accept bribes, should be rooted out of the force and dealt with in an exemplary way that will deter others from doing the same.
UASA honours the majority of police officers – those who are honest, law-abiding and hard-working officials who have a calling and a burning desire to cut out the cancer of crime in society. They are the men and women who deserve our trust and respect, and who should not be expected to work alongside unreliable and corrupt colleagues.
National Police Days are celebrated in other countries too, such as Great Britain, the United States and Australia, where exceptionally high and respected standards of law enforcement are maintained. The reason for their success is stringent selection, excellent training, dedication and commitment to their work, and good salaries. Only when South Africa follows suit can we expect to start playing in the same league.