Police officers march against gender-based violence
About 1,500 male officers and trainees of the South African Police Service gathered in Pretoria on Monday to march against gender-based violence and violence against children and other vulnerable groups.
Police Minister Bheki Cele led the march. He said the aim was to raise awareness, urging the society to get more involved in reporting gender-based crimes in their communities.
The march ended at the Sunnyside Police Station.
Joanne Joseph on the Afternoon Drive show speaks to Police Ministry spokesperson Lirandzu Themba for more on this.
The message had to be sent to the police officers that are at the coalface of victims that present themselves to the police stations.Lirandzu Themba, Police Ministry spokesperson
It was also a mission on the police side that things can be done differently. That is why we have adopted the term Sizojika izinto (Turning the tide) against crime, especially committed against the country's women, children and vulnerable groups.Lirandzu Themba, Police Ministry spokesperson
Police officers took an oath and pledge to commit to improve service delivery in the fight against these crimes and to just give a more professionalised service to the people that present themselves to police stations, which we know has been problematic for some time now.Lirandzu Themba, Police Ministry spokesperson
As to how the march will translate into a change when people visit police stations to report such crimes, Themba says the police management is of the view that things have to be done differently, starting at station level. She mentioned instances of rape victims being turned away and police questioning what the victims were wearing.
Officers need to be trained in how to treat these cases. They [victims] need to be interviewed in places of privacy where they are given the benefit to express themselves about what happened to them.Lirandzu Themba, Police Ministry spokesperson
She said victims must be given regular feedback.
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This article first appeared on 702 : Police officers march against gender-based violence
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