The gun registry under fire

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Cape Town – The Police Portfolio Committee has asked the Police Department to employ only three new staff and promote five members to the Central Firearms Registry (CFR), which faces delays in processing cases. applications for firearms licenses and amnesties.

Senior police officers, including Police Minister Bheki Cele, virtually briefed the committee on Tuesday on the progress made since May to date in dealing with the arrears over the capture of a gun amnesty and other processes.

Approximately 165,715 firearms were surrendered and 14,419 firing tests were performed.

Of the 123,199 specimens received at forensic science laboratories for analysis, 54,507 have been finalized and 68,692 are still being processed.

A total of 75,363 firearms were submitted for licensing and only 4,241 of these were finalized.

The Police Ministry also revealed that it is still in the process of acquiring an alternative office building to accommodate its FIU staff.

“A submission has been made to the National Ministry of Public Works and Infrastructure for alternative housing as a short-term measure.

“There is also an active project to repair and renovate the IT building at Telkom Towers, which has been assigned as state-owned accommodation. “

Committee chair Tina Joemat-Pettersson said more than three months after the CRF and forensic science labs were overlooked, there was a frustrating lack of improvement.

“We don’t know how the backlog problem will be resolved if there are only a few new employees in the division.

“It’s totally new and it doesn’t give us hope at all.

“We are also quite shocked that members are still occupying the facility that the Safety, Health and Environment Unit has deemed unsafe.”

DA MP Andrew Whitfield also expressed concern that the CRF’s migration to a fully digital filing system could be finalized by November 2024.

Cele said: “We have raised the construction and infrastructure issues that are outside of our mandate as SAPS. A request was made to the responsible department to be approached so that the problem could be dealt with.

The committee also recently learned that SAPS was unable to meet its target of recovering lost firearms, with only 2,160 stolen / lost firearms recovered for fiscal year 2020/21, compared to a target of 4,225.

Cape Town Hours

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