n Servamus Community-based Safety and Security Magazine - When a police member is gunned down, South Africa “bleeds blue” - research

Volume 113 Number 4
  • ISSN : 1015-2385


Criminals have no respect for the law or for the police. They do not fear the criminal justice system due to low conviction rates, light sentences, seemingly easy parole options or the option to escape. Without any respect for life and others' property, criminals do not even hesitate to open fire on police members who act as the thin blue line that protects the public and their property. We regularly hear about members who are murdered in the line of duty and when we do, police members are justifiably angry because they are the specific targets of attack. Many police members consider themselves to be "forgotten" or "neglected" victims where the authorities and specifically their own organisation do not care about their safety and security and fail to do anything concrete about the situation (Minnaar, 2003). This situation has existed for nearly two decades and has not changed. Criminals simply have access to better (although illegal) firearms and vehicles than law enforcement officials and they also hide behind human rights as a form of protection.

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