Cops to get sexual offence training

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dec 6 rape kit INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS File image - A rape evidence kit. Photo: Andrew Ingram

Special training would be provided to strengthen police response to sexual offences, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Monday.

“We are... prioritising specialised training for investigators of sexual offences to ensure that we move beyond arrest to secure harsher convictions,” he said in a statement.

In addition, police stations needed to become environments more friendly to victims with the addition of dedicated victim support rooms.

Mthethwa called on police to “go beyond the call of duty” in clamping down on crimes against children at the start of Child Protection Week.

The in-service training of police officers would be extended to include a victim support learning programme.

During the 2012/2013 financial year, 2161 more detectives would be trained, with renewed focus on the importance of taking statements.

“We cannot begin to overemphasise the accuracy of statement-taking because such a process has an impact on an outcome and conclusion of any case,” Mthethwa said.

Victims should also be kept informed of progress in their cases.

Mthethwa said the police would work with the department of basic education to facilitate school-based crime prevention programmes to make schools safe learning environments.

“Learners are encouraged to report any form of abuse to the SAPS,” he said.

“The focus however is to build resistance and resilience amongst learners to crime and violence and also from victimisation and offending behaviour.” - Sapa


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