Cape Town startling statistics on police brutality were presented at Parliament on Tuesday and according to the ICD (Independent Complaints Directorate who provide us with the stats) say that South African Police Brutality has been the highest it has ever been in more than ten years
Members of Parliament heard that:
1) Cases of police brutality leapt by more than 300 percent in the past decade, from 416 during 2001/2002 to 1 722 cases by 2011/2012.
2) Of the 720 deaths reported to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate in 2011/2012, one in five involved police criminality.
3) Only one out of every 50 people who experienced or witnessed police abuse reported it.
4) The SAPS was facing civil claims totalling R1.1 billion related to shooting incidents, and assault cases of more than R800 million.
5) Civil claims against the police had doubled in the past two years to R14.8bn.
6) Thirty-five percent of citizens interviewed last year were scared of the police and about 41 percent did not trust the police.
The statistics also show that 24 complaints of rape by police officers are being investigated and 294 people died in police custody from April 2009 to March 2010. Seven of these deaths were linked to torture and 90 to “injuries sustained in custody”.
Last week Amnesty International released its annual report, which looks, among other things, at the torture and brutality faced by being held crime suspects in police custody.
“Corroborated methods include severe beatings, electric shocks and suffocation while the person was shackled or hooded,” said the report.
The report also raised concerns about the increase in shootings by police. In the 2009-2010 financial year the ICD’s annual report showed that 566 people died as a result of police action, down from 612 in 2008-2009.
The Live Magazine team also decided to take the matter to the streets and find out what people of the city thought of the matter. Check out our video to hear what they had to say.
Our team also caught what is widely believed to be a plain clothes security guard or policeman assaulting a homeless man a few weeks ago: