Report: More police officers killed off duty than when on the job

By Doug Mattushek - 25 August 2019Views : 533


A new report released by Gun Free SA suggests it is not safe for police officers to be carrying their weapon when off-duty.

"To start from evidence, there [are] two or three cases that guide us," said Adele Kirsten from Gun Free SA.

"A couple of years ago, it was found that more police officers are killed off duty than on duty, and that's significant because the question is whether they were deliberately targeted for their weapons. There is not enough research on exploring the motives."

Kirsten went on to reveal the research in more detail. After analysing the data from police killings from 2010/2011 to 2016/2017, the majority of police are killed when they are off duty. Despite a range of interventions deployed to curb the trend, the number has remained stable.

Another researcher contributing to the report, David Bruce, claimed that off-duty police killings outnumbered on-duty police killings every year since 1991.

Meanwhile, the South African Police Union maintains that it is necessary for officers to carry their guns all the time as they are obliged to act on crimes taking place whether they are on duty or not.