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Fifty Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offence (FCS) police detectives have been given special training to deal with serial rape cases as the incidence of this type of crime escalates.
At the weekend, Matla A Bana, a local NGO, took a serious stance in an effort to help clamp down on serial rapists. Matla A Bana – with the slogan “A voice against child abuse” – hosted specialised training sessions with 50 detectives representing all the areas in the Western Cape.
Matla A Bana chief executive Monique Strydom said cases in which children were raped mostly involved serial rapists.
The team of 50 detectives attended a two-day training course in The Investigation of Serial Rape, which was led by one of SA’s top experts, Professor Gerard Labuschagne.
The focus of Matla A Bana is to minimise the secondary abuse child victims suffer when they report crimes, so they work very closely with the police FCS units.
Detectives received training in the profiling of perpetrators, modus operandi and the crucial skill of linking cases.
FCS units are investigating a series of serial rapes in Cape Town and smaller towns, including Vredenburg and Knysna.
Strydom said that with this type of specialised training, cases would now be resolved much quicker. She added that “the public should give the police credit for the arresting of such offenders”.
Matla A Bana said that during the last three years, more than 1 500 rape cases had been linked as being part of serial rape behaviour, using the police DNA laboratories.
“How many others still go undetected remains to be discovered. It turns out that rape victims do not have a voice and serial rapists get away with rape, and possibly murder as well,” the NGO said.
“It is because of a lack of a specialised task team and officers not communicating that many of these cases are only picked up after a series of rapes, or even murder, has taken place.”
Labuschagne said one serial rapist could rape up to 40 women and added that the police should not back-slap each other when arresting a serial rapist – they should be ashamed that they had only caught the perpetrator at such a late stage.