The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) has welcomed the measures put in place by the government to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
In a statement on Tuesday, 17 March 2020, the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union welcomed the measures put in place by the government to mitigate the rampant spread of COVID-19. “We also welcome the speedy commitment by the South African Police Service (SAPS) management to immediately implement precautionary measures that would limit the impact this pandemic is likely to have on the work of our men and women in blue,” the statement read.
These precautions include equipping all stations and holding cells with disinfectants and ensuring that all wash basins have soap and hand paper towels. Provincial Commissioners also instructed that all officers are to be supplied with masks and disposable gloves. POPCRU stressed the importance of strictly following these precautionary measures, as much interaction with suspects, injured people within crime scenes, and communities required physical contact.
The trade union called for the Minister of Justice and Corrections to find alternative measures to address the overcrowded and understaffed correctional centres to avoid further spreading the virus. “It is simply not enough to stop visits to these centres when there have long before the outbreak been dire challenges that have seen the continuous stabbings and killing of officials without being addressed. The situation in our correctional centres has long deteriorated, and new measures need to be considered,” the statement continued.
The trade union noted that it was sitting talks with all its structures to raise awareness, as this was the best way to contain the spread of the virus.