Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa says he is encouraged by the number of police officers trained in dealing with sexual offences and has challenged the officers to translate the knowledge gained into practical actions.
Mthethwa announced that for the financial year 2008/2009, a total of 669 officers received additional training on dealing with sexual offences and this increased to 2906 in 2009/2010. For 2010/2011 a total of 2272 were trained and for the financial year 2011/2012, more than 2203 received training.
“These numbers are encouraging as they indicate a steady increase over the years. In addition to their basic training (which includes training on sexual offenses) (police) received additional or specific training on sexual offenses…,” Mthethwa said.
He added that priority should now be placed on fighting crime against women, children and the elderly.
“Up-skilling and training of police officers must be on-going and we urge officer to ensure they utilise the knowledge gained to make a dent in the fight against crime.”
There was a need to sustain the momentum in the fight against crime. He said through a coordinated manner amongst the different units within South African Police Service “we are confident that the more we harshly convict criminals the lesser people will be involved in heinous crimes”.
Mthwethwa said once that had been achieved, refresher training for all members would commence.
Training needed to be on-going, relevant and help police deal a blow to crimes such as sexual offences, he said.
He further stressed the importance of discipline amongst all police officers and further tasked the police management to ensure they intensify discipline across the department.