Pretoria - A healthy police force is crucial in ensuring a safe and secure country, National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega said on Monday.

Police were enduring a lot of stress, she said at the first National Forensic Social Worker Seminar.

“There is a lot of stress that is endured in the job of the police. Therefore we have social workers who are serving the police to ensure that they get the necessary counselling (and) their health and well-being are taken care of.”

Phiyega said the duties of forensic social workers included identifying unknown children who were usually found dead and not reported missing.

“As forensic social workers, we must go and assess who is this child. It is our duty to go and establish the identity of the child and where it comes from.”

She said police would do better if society was willing to work with them.

“We shall do our work as the police to go and investigate, but we can even do better if we have society coming into the party.”

Mothers should take care of their children and families should support them if some were unable to do so.

“It is a nation that brings up a child, not an individual,” she said. - Sapa