‘Lost ‘ service pistols used in shocking number of crimes

Photo for illustrative purposes. (Photo: Pixabay)

Over the past eight financial years, 325 police firearms were stolen in Gauteng, while a further 39 were lost.

In the 2016/ 17 financial year more than 40 police firearms were stolen.

Also Read: Cop allegedly sold service pistol to drug dealer

Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane has revealed that only 45 firearms have been recovered over the past eight years.

These firearms have been linked to 342 reported criminal incidents ranging from murder, attempted murder, hijacking, armed robbery, housebreaking and theft.

While the MEC stated that there have been 43 arrests in connection with these missing firearms, there was only one successful conviction in the last eight years, which was with regard to a murder.

Read more: Man arrested for illegal firearm and ammunition

In the majority of cases where firearms were retrieved, dockets have either been closed or cases have been withdrawn.

“Given the latest crime statistics, it is evident that violent crime and home-based attacks are on the rise in Gauteng,” said Kate Lorimer, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Community Safety.

“It is little wonder that residents of Gauteng have no faith in the police to keep them safe when members have no regard for their service weapons, which ultimately find their way into the hands of those who seek to do harm.

“This is further compounded by the virtually non-existent conviction rate for those involved in these crimes,” she continued.

“MEC Nkosi-Malobane must make sure that all police members adhere stringently to the Firearms Control Act and should be brought to book if they fail to do so.

“The DA will write to the MEC, requesting her to detail what action has been taken against negligent police members who have lost their firearms or had them stolen,” Lorimer continued.

The Record is currently in the process of determining how many firearms were stolen or lost at the local police stations.

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  AUTHOR
Riaan van Zyl
Journalist

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