Ombud rules against Sea Point SAPS

The Western Cape Police Ombudsman ruled against Sea Point police after one of their officers was accused of responding poorly to a complaint.

A preliminary investigation was conducted after Paul Jacobson reported an incident to the Western Cape Police Ombudsman on behalf of another Sea Point resident, Terry Leigh.

In a letter addressed to Mr Jacobson, the investigating officer Edwin Bailey stated that the police officer failed to assist the residents by not opening a case docket in February this year.

Mr Jacobson said Ms Leigh had asked him to assist and act on her behalf to report a harassment case after a man exposed his genitalia to her in public but the officer refused to open a case.

In a video that was used as a piece of evidence to the ombudsman, the officer can be heard saying there was no criminal case in the matter.

The residents argued that public indecency was criminal and wanted to open a case against the perpetrator.

Mr Jacobson said there were sent from pillar to post and decided to report the matter to the police ombudsman.

Mr Bailey stated that the complaint was registered and deemed to fall within their mandate in terms of Section 16(1) and Section 17(1) with Section 15 of the Western Cape Community Safety Act 3 of 2013.

“Therefore, the matter will be closed as substantiated against members of Sea Point SAPS.

“It is recommended that the SAPS should take appropriate action to address the inefficiency.

“The Provincial Commissioner has been informed of the outcome of our investigation.

“ The matter is deemed to be finalised,” he stated.

Mr Jacobson said while they were happy with the outcome and weren’t quite sure whether the case would be opened. “Hopefully, this will set the tone for change at Sea Point SAPS going forward,” he said.

When asked about the refusal to assist in opening the case and what action had been taken to deal against the officer, the station commander, Lieutenant Colonel Helena Mouton said: “This incident was reported to the Ombudsman who dealt with the matter and internal processes were followed to address the matter on the recommendations based of the investigation of the Ombudsman.

“These internal processes is a matter between the employer and the employee and not to be disclosed on a public platform.”