WATCH: Criminals must be afraid of you, Cele tells 5000 new cops
Pretoria - The Minister of Police Bheki Cele expects his new crop of graduate police officers to be the last people standing after every engagement with criminals.
Cele made his remarks on Friday welcoming 5 042 new police constables to the South African police force upon their graduation.
Thousands of people traveled from various parts of the country to witness the young and adequately trained men and women who’ll take up their places in the battle against crime.
He held nothing back encouraging the young men and women in blue to spread terror in the lives of criminals and not be afraid to use their firearms to protect themselves.
“Criminals must be afraid of you. When you engage with criminals the last person left standing must be the officer.
"Criminals must have sleepless nights when they think of you.
"They must sweat and stress knowing the SAPS is now 5000 officers stronger.
"Criminals must not have peace, give them sleepless nights,” said Cele.
These new officers get straight to work as they’ll be joining the thousands of police officers who will not be taking leave the entire festive season.
Cele said all members of the police will rest once the festive season is past and people are safe from opportunistic criminals.
“Constables, your pass-out parade takes place as the SAPS embarks on its annual Safer Festive Season Campaign.
"Young officers, as part of our efforts to turn the tide against crime, I have instructed all officers not to take leave during this Festive Season.
"This directive also includes you.
“Yes, ZizoJika Izinto and we will turn the tide against crime with all of you on board.
"Constables, as you pass out today, I want you to hit the ground running.
"Go out there and work in teams to ensure that the season is festive for all South Africans and remains that way.
“We want to see you visible on the streets, in all public areas at sporting events, concerts,parks and malls.
"You are being given marching orders to serve and protect without fear or favour.”
Cele also advised his young officers to remember to be police officers and not social workers.
"He said he did not expect them to be sending complainants home from police stations so that they could sort out their problems with those who harm them.
“You have no business asking women what they were wearing when they were sexually violated and victims of gender-based-violence should not fear coming to you for help.
"You are their first point of call after their ordeal, treat them with dignity.
"Your duty is to protect and serve with professionalism and compassion at all times," he said.