More police boots on the ground in time for festive season

File photo. 935 of the 3‚499 new police who are hitting the streets this Christmas are women.
File photo. 935 of the 3‚499 new police who are hitting the streets this Christmas are women.  Image: Gallo Images / Foto24 / Deaan Vivier
A total of 3‚499 new police officials have completed basic training‚ which the South African Police Service describes as “a force multiplier” to enhance police visibility during the busy festive season. Of this‚ 935 are women.

Various passing-out parades were held countrywide for the officials who have completed their Basic Police Training Learning Programme‚ the SAPS said in a statement on Friday. The passing-out parades were held at SAPS Tshwane Academy‚ SAPS Bhisho Academy in the Eastern Cape and SAPS Bishop Lavis in the Western Cape.

The police trainees who stood on parade are the second intake to graduate from the revised Basic Police Training Learning Programme‚ which was introduced in 2016. The revised programme comprises an induction phase of one month‚ which is intended to familiarise trainees with the police station environment and the overall basic activities of the community service centres. The trainees then proceed to one of the SAPS training academies for eight months where they are trained as police officials. This training is a combination of theory and practice.

Once completed‚ members are then deployed as fully fledged constables to their various police stations across the country‚ where they serve a one-year probation period‚ which is also seen as an in-service training programme.

SAPS National Commissioner General Khehla Sitole told the graduates: “In your career as a police officer‚ remember that your focus should always be the citizens of this country‚ the people you have to serve and protect. Use the powers granted to you with an accompanying sense of responsibility‚ and be ethical in all that you do. Treat all people with respect. Respect and humility will keep you on the right track in trying times‚ even when criminals try to lure you into criminality for corrupt gains. Live and work in such a way that your colleagues and the community will respect you.”

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula urged the new officers to uphold the constitution of the country.

“Policing in a democratic dispensation means that the human rights of the communities that we serve‚ must be respected at all times. Human rights are therefore a golden thread that runs through all the different modules. 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. Remember that corruption and dishonesty tarnish the image of the SAPS and that many men and women in blue lost their jobs‚ ended up behind bars and with criminal records because they succumbed to the evils of criminal activity and greed.”

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