The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) says the matter around suicides within the police force is at an alarming level.

They argue that in 2014 alone, 10% of the SAPS employees were treated with depression, and between 2012 and 2015, 26% of all officers’ deaths were as a result of suicide; all these as a result of their working conditions.

This revelation comes after a police man walked into the Durban Magistrates Court, shot his wife, brother-in-law and then turned the gun on himself.

Popcru spokesperson, Richard Mamabolo explains that there are programmes to deal with police officers’ mental and emotional stress, however many are reluctant to make use of them.

“For you to get a higher position within the SAPS, you need to obviously be assessed. Part of the problem has been that if you have been a part of these programmes, it means that you do have post-traumatic stress disorder and therefore it reduces the chances of getting a higher rank; so that is the challenge and they have not been confidential.”

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