‘Al­ways keep your stan­dards up’

Mossel Bay Advertiser - - Art & Entertainment - Cor­nel­le Car­stens

The South A­fri­can Po­li­ce Ser­vi­ces' pro­vin­ci­al Men for C­han­ge exe­cu­ti­ve chan­ged its i­ni­ti­al plans at short no­ti­ce, be­cau­se they felt strongly a vi­sit to Mos­sel Bay is ne­ces­sa­ry as part of their cam­paign du­ring the 16 Days of Acti­vism for No Vi­o­len­ce A­gainst Wo­men and Child­ren.

"We chan­ged our plans within two days," said pre­si­dent of Men for C­han­ge, Gi­de­on No­ban­ge­la at the Da Ga­mas­kop Po­li­ce S­ta­ti­on du­ring the te­am's vi­sit on Tu­es­day, 27 No­vem­ber.

S­ta­ti­on com­man­der of the Da Ga­mas­kop po­li­ce, Co­lo­nel Mark Hart­zen­berg, said du­ring the brie­fing t­hat do­mes­tic vi­o­len­ce is pre­va­lent in the s­ta­ti­on po­li­cing a­rea with al­most 20 ca­ses re­por­ted monthly.

Wee­kends, he said, pre­sent a chal­len­ge. "Wo­men and child­ren are high on our a­gen­da," he said.

The­re­fo­re, the s­ta­ti­on is look­ing at re­crui­ting mo­re vo­lun­teers to pro­vi­de re­lief for the full-ti­me coun­cil­lor it al­re­a­dy has at the victim em­po­wer­ment room.

He com­men­ded the com­mu­ni­ty po­li­cing forum for its sup­port a­gainst do­mes­tic vi­o­len­ce.

No­ban­ge­la com­men­ted t­hat it con­cerns his te­am gre­at­ly t­hat t­he­re is a ge­ne­ral in­cre­a­se in sexu­al cri­mes com­mit­ted not by sus­pects unkno­wn to victims, but pe­op­le kno­wn to them, such as friends and fa­mi­ly mem­bers.

No­ban­ge­la said at the brie­fing t­hat t­his pre­sen­ted a chal­len­ge in terms of po­li­cing and brin­ging per­pe­tra­tors to jus­ti­ce. No­ban­ge­la rei­te­ra­ted the im­por­tan­ce of mem­bers of the South A­fri­can Po­li­ce Ser­vi­ces being the go-to pe­op­le, w­het­her on du­ty not. "Mem­bers of the com­mu­ni­ty should be a­ble to ap­pro­ach us in ti­me of need, e­ven w­hen we are at ho­me."

The­re­fo­re, he said, it is of p­ri­me im­por­tan­ce t­hat po­li­ce mem­bers' e­thi­cs should be good.

No­ban­ge­la al­so emp­ha­si­sed the im­por­tan­ce of tre­a­ting all pe­op­le and their is­su­es re­por­ted e­qual­ly and with fair­ness, wit­hout dis­cri­mi­na­ti­on.

"We must up­hold the mo­rals and va­lu­es of SAPS whi­le we im­ple­ment the law.

"We must b­ring back the trust by sho­wing the com­mu­ni­ty cle­ar­ly t­hat we are not just tal­king. We must cle­ar­ly tell our col­le­a­gues: 'We­na, keep your stan­dard', w­hen we see them not being in li­ne."

No­ban­ge­la was a­da­mant t­hat po­li­ce mem­bers com­mit­ting cri­mes of a­bu­se and do­mes­tic vi­o­len­ce should be poin­ted out, not to ex­po­se them, but to help them.

The te­am will vi­sit the C­re­a­ting Ef­fecti­ve Fa­mi­lies shel­ter, lo­ca­ted in the Da Ga­mas­kop po­li­cing a­rea, du­ring their stay t­his week.

He com­men­ded the com­mu­ni­ty po­li­cing forum for its sup­port a­gainst do­mes­tic vi­o­len­ce.

P­ho­to: Cor­nel­le Car­stens

The exe­cu­ti­ve of Men for C­han­ge, We­stern Ca­pe (in g­reen) at­ten­ded a brie­fing at the Da Ga­mas­kop po­li­ce s­ta­ti­on as part of its vi­sit to Mos­sel Bay du­ring the 16 Days of Acti­vism cam­paign.

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