Proactive intelligence key to fighting rhino-poaching
The Portfolio Committee on Police says the fight against rhino-poaching could be strengthened by instituting proactive, intergrated and concerted crime intelligence efforts that involve cross-border intelligence initiatives.
“South African Police Service (SAPS) intelligence services should be able to infiltrate and neutralise whatever plans the poachers might have even before they get implemented, especially seeing that they recruit locals to carry out these plans,” said Committee Chairperson, Mr Francois Beukman.
While the Committee commended some of the progress made as reported in yesterday’s meeting at the National Kruger Park, Committee Members said the SAPS intelligence system needed to immerse itself among the people residing in respective communities such that it is able to gather intelligence useful for the curbing of the poaching activities.
The Committee also wanted to know why SAPS had not yet conducted integrity tests and lifestyle audits among its detectives at the park, especially seeing that the Kruger National Park Authorities have been implementing this strategy among their rangers and staff members to prevent and detect any involvement of their rangers and staff members who could be involved in this illegal act.
Committee Members urged SAPS to conduct regular integrity test and lifestyle audits among police officers working in the National Kruger Par and other SAPS members working in the broader Mpumalanga province to circumvent possibilities of bribery and illicit involvement of officials in this horrendous act.
According to Mr Beukman, the scourge of rhino-poaching can be won if SAPS and other role-players cooperated effectively with their counter parts in other countries. “SAPS needs to strengthen its relations with Interpol and jointly come up with effective cross-border interventions,” added Mr Beukman. Mr Beukman said the fight against rhino-poaching was a matter of National interests and South Africa needs all the help it can get in order to uproot this atrocious and illegal practice.
Kruger National Park authorities say there has been 827 rhinos killed since 2007 until 2014, a number lower than what they predicted. They say they predicted that over 1000 rhinos would have been killed from 2007 to 2014 due to the 70% year-on-year increase in the killing of rhinos. They said they were glad this was not the case, thanks to their strategies which has seen the 70% decrease to 32% deaths annually.
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SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS