South Africa Police Force face personnel crisis

While South Africa’s Police Force faces a growing personnel crisis, the private security sector has steadily grown over the last two years. Now, the South African police force is outnumbered by members in the private security sector 4 to 1.

The latest annual performance plans from the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) have presented the latest situational analysis on security in the country.

According to the PSIRA, demand for security and guarding from the private security sector has grown significantly over the course of the previous decade.

With security issues and unrest in the region increasing, the desire for personal protection has similarly grown. The majority of governments recommend hiring locals with knowledge of the area to guard tourists during travels. Events, conferences and more are also looking to security companies as opposed to police groups as a conflict solution.

A profitable business, as of the end of 2022, there were 2.7 million registered security guards int he country, with around 587,000 currently active.

Opposing this, the South African Police Service has seen a decline in active roles, with only 140,000 SAPS members as of the end of 2022.

According to PSIRA the growing demand for private security is as a direct result of the constraints experienced within the SAPS. This has also resulted in private security guards taking up more roles and tasks that are typically the mandate of the SAPS.

Find out more about the analytical figures behind the South African Police Service and PSIRA.

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