JOHANNESBURG – Corruption Watch said its report detailing corruption in the police service has revealed alarming levels of wrongdoing by those entrusted with upholding the law in the country.
Bribery, abuse of power and dereliction of duty lead the list of complaints the watchdog said it received between 2012 and 2018 from members of the public.
The damning report alleged that most implicated officials were detectives and investigating officers, who were helping their colleagues by accepting bribes and abusing of their positions.
Its report titled ‘Corruption in Uniform: When Cops Become Criminals’ was released on Thursday.
Corruption Watch said around 1,400 members of the public shared their experiences of police corruption with the organization during a six-year period.
Leading the corruption category was bribery, which included acts of police colluding with criminals.
Abuse of resources and threats of violence were also detailed in the report.
The civil society organization’s Melusi Ncala said disappearing police dockets in exchange for money is still a major worry.
Ncala said their report also explored the problem of some men in blue who abused their power to prey on women.
He has implored the government to intervene, saying otherwise the situation will not change.
Corruption Watch said high levels of corruption in the police service will continue to fester unless there was political will from the top brass to deal with perpetrators within their own ranks.
Ncala said when police and criminals colluded, the public lost.
“Even though time and time again for the past 25 years, there have been several reforms and so many changes we can point out but people still feel the people who are supposed to protect them are not doing that.”