The South African Police Service (SAPS) on Friday announced the deployment of more than 3,000 newly trained officers across the country to combat rising crime.
The deployment of the officers will help strengthen crime-fighting capability and enhance police visibility, particularly during this busy festive season, the SAPS said.
A total of 3,499 newly trained officers will be deployed across the country just in time for the festive season, SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Mashadi Selepe said.
These officers have gone through the Basic Police Training Learning Program, which allows them to provide a more efficient and effective policing service to ensure that the people of South Africa are and feel safe, Selepe said.
The officers are deployed as fully-fledged constables to various police stations across the country, where they serve a one-year probation period, which is also seen as an in-service training program, according to Selepe.
Also on Friday, Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula urged the new officers to uphold the constitution of the country, thereby respecting all human rights in the execution of their policing mandate.
“Never forget what you have learnt during your training, as you will need to physically and mentally survive and strive in your career and to overcome the challenges which await you,” the minister said.
He warned that corruption and dishonesty have tarnished the image of the SAPS and that many men and women in police uniforms have lost their jobs, ending up behind bars and with criminal records because they succumbed to the evils of criminal activity and greed.
The deployment of more police officers is part of the Safer Season Campaign launched by the SAPS to ensure security during the festive season.
The campaign has seen highly visible, multi-disciplinary law enforcement teams deployed to conduct regular vehicle and foot patrols, roadblocks, cordon and search operations and the tracing of wanted suspects.
“The fight against crime is everyone’s responsibility and we appeal to the community to join hands with us and together we can enjoy a crime free and safer festive season,” the SAPS said.
South Africa has seen a rise in violent crimes in the 2016-2017 financial year, with murders and aggravated robberies up 1.8 percent and 6.4 percent respectively, official figures show.
As Christmas is drawing near, robberies directed at tourists have gone up. In the past recent days, several incidents of robberies directed at tourists have been reported in and around Cape Town, according to police. Enditem