31 May 2012
South Africa will dedicate more resources to improving police officers’ investigative skills so they can secure more convictions, Deputy Police Minister Maggie Sotyu said on Tuesday.
Addressing Parliament in Cape Town, Sotyu said efficient investigations would result in tougher sentences for people arrested and convicted for crimes against vulnerable groups such as women and children.
In 2011/12, more than 18 000 police officers across the country were trained in the laws relating to victim empowerment, child justice, human rights, domestic violence and sexual offences.
“We are happy to say that these topics are also covered in the newly introduced Basic Police Development Learning Programme and some managerial courses,” Sotyu said.
“They are also featured as cross-cutting topics in all operational courses dealing with victims, complainants, suspects, colleagues, arrestees and use of force.”
The ministry of police has budgeted R1.7-billion for this financial year for all forms of training, with a special focus on training for investigators of sexual offences.
This is in keeping with the spirit of the theme for this year announced by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa during his budget vote speech earlier this month, making 2012 the “year of the detective”.
Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Jeff Radebe also recently announced that he has commissioned a report to look into whether to re-introduce special sexual offences courts.
Sixty-two of these courts are already operating on a pilot basis, and have so far proven to be every effective in dealing with sexual offences.
The Adopt-a-Cop and Safer Schools programmes are also making strides in fostering resilience and confidence among learners and youth.