February 18, 2008

Arts and Craft Trade Directory for KZN

The Department of Economic Development in KwaZulu-Natal in partnership with the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) has recently produced a comprehensive and beautifully designed KZN Arts and Craft Trade Directory.

I saw it at Tradepoint Durban in the Resource Room and judging from the response from the crafters, artists and people who do business in this field, the new KZN Arts and Craft Directory is already a great success.

Networking and resources is one of their biggest obstacles, and this Directory has a detailed, well directory of companies and organizations working in the field of arts and craft.

The Master Crafters' Section can do with a bit of beefing up for the next issue - I think the art dealers should be put in a separate section.

But overall, the relevant authorities must be applauded for a very handy, and well produced workbook for the arts and craft industry.

February 15, 2008

ICD to Add More Corrupt Cops to the Tally

Well, what else could they say? The day after the story hit the press about 830 KwaZulu-Natal province cops being under investigation, the ICD came back with a BIG denial - well not quite a denial, but they seem to be determined to boost the crooked cop numbers - they have launched an investigation into their own department.

In this morning's M&G - headlined ICD orders probe into "so called statistics leak", Patrick Mongwe, ICD Acting director said that statistics could not be released without being "audited and verified" - I read that as the well known "spin-and-cook."

The release of figures showing that 830 KwaZulu-Natal law enforcement officers were under investigation would be probed, the Independent Complaints Directorate boss announced on Thursday.

Patrick Mongwe, the ICD's acting executive director, said: "The statistics must come from here [the head office]. There are policies within the department."

He said that statistics could not be released with out having been "audited and verified".

"I have initiated an investigation and who has released those figures must be held to account," he said.

Well well so let's see what comes out in the wash - if they catch the culprit, maybe the number of cops under investigation will climb to over 830!

February 14, 2008

Killer Cops, Corrupt Cops - What is The Solution?

More than 800 KZN cops under investigation is the headline on a 13 February Story in the Mail & Guardian online I knew it was bad, but that bad??

"At least 830 of KwaZulu-Natal's (KZN) law-enforcement officers are under investigation for a host of crimes ranging from assault through to rape and murder, figures released by the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) revealed on Wednesday.

Of the 830 officers -- which include members of the South African Police Services, eThekwini metro police and other municipal police services -- only one officer has been convicted."

Don't they realize there is a problem somewhere?

"KwaZulu-Natal provincial head of the ICD, Tabisa Ralo, on Wednesday said that of the 830 officers being probed, 174 are being scrutinized for deaths in police custody or as a result of police action.

Another 289 are being investigated for misconduct, while 351 are under investigation for failing to carry out their duties.

She said misconduct cases include assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, rape, indecent assault, extortion and corruption.

Up to 16 police officers had domestic violence cases file"

And how many police officers are committing suicide or family murders?

The statistics for the whole country are absolutely frightening, but for someone who lives in KZN, the blood runs ice cold at the following statement:

"More people died at the hands of KwaZulu-Natal's law-enforcement officers than any other province."

Now that's really cool!!!

As if the social pressures of transformation in our society and the associated crime aren't enough, I'm more likely to get get killed by a cop in KZN than anywhere else in South Africa. I'm sure that's not a fact Tourism KZN will want to trumpet at the next Tourism Indaba.

However, Ralo assures the public that :
"The role of the ICD forms part of an ongoing commitment to transform policing in South Africa ."

But what I want to know is what are they doing about screening applicants; training and skilling them; providing psychological counseling and paying them better? Isn't that easier than investigating and court cases and ...

eThekwini Metro police spokesperson Superintendent John Tyala says he believes that less then ten metro officers were under investigation by the ICD. (Ralo says 28).

He assures the public that :"Our management has committed itself to clamp down on corruption and this has served as a deterrent to other members."

Then Tyala urges members of the public not to attempt to bribe his officers. (And listen to this)

"Don't bribe our members because you will be enticing them ... they too have families and if they lose their jobs what will be their future?" he said. "They will be unemployed."

Oh wow, and this is the spokesperson for the eThekwini Metro Police?

Do I care about the future of corrupt policemen and women? If they are corrupt they should not only be unemployed they should be behind bars, Superintendent Tyla.

But as I said before, if they are better screened and trained and paid and counseled (because they really have dangerous jobs), but hey, as the saying goes... I'm pissing into the wind.

I just hate to think what these kind of statistics and this kind of press does for the good cops, and yes there are many of them.

Report Corrupt Cops

In KZN one can report a complaint against a law enforcement official to the ICD on 031 3101300 or visit its offices in Kingsfield Place, Field Street, Durban

And if one of the Metro Police Officers in Durban steps over the line, you can report him/her to:

Mr Bheki Mkhize, Ombudsperson and Head: Investigations of the eThekwini Municipality

e-mail: Ombuds@durban.gov.za or download a form.

February 11, 2008

Wikia - Human Powered Search Engines

Open source search engines like Wikipedia's may not kill Google, but they could bring us closer to search nirvana. Here are some pros and cons.

After much hype, Wikia has finally unveiled an alpha version of its "human powered" search engine. Many in the blogging community have been quick to post scathing reviews on the launch, criticizing the engine's shallow inventory and highlighting the fact that many of the much trumpeted social components haven't been incorporated as part of the initial launch, says Alex Vlasto at iMedia Connection.

Although the integration of social elements within search is a good thing, the biggest problem will always be fraud - spam.

He concludes with the thought that open source search is definitely an exciting development. "For me, however, the really exciting component is not so much the transparency of the algorithm but rather the way users can rank, and in turn influence, listings that are displayed."

Read: Wikia, Google killer or dead in the water?

February 6, 2008

Polygraph Testing - Lie Detection Methods in the Criminal, P

Polygraphs or lie detectors are most often associated with criminal investigations, but they are also used in the private sector under strict guidelines.What is a Polygraph or Lie Detector?A polygraph is also often referred to as a lie detector. The underlying theory of the polygraph is that when people lie they also get measurably nervous about lying.

read more | digg story

February 2, 2008

St Valentines Day Massacre - First Crime Lab in USA

The St Valentine's Day Massacre on 14 February 1929 led to the establishment of the first crime detection laboratory in the United States of America.

read more | digg story