FCS unit makes inroads in protecting vulnerable

Monday, July 30, 2018

The South African Police Service’s Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit are making inroads in protecting the vulnerable.

The FCS Units around the country consists of dedicated members that go beyond the call of duty to ensure that survivors of these heinous crimes – rape, murder and child pornography – are treated with the utmost care to avoid secondary victimisation.

Between, 1 January and 30 June 2018, the unit has nationally recorded a sizable number of convictions and lengthy sentences with regards to crimes against women and children, including murder, rape and child pornography.

A total of 217 life and over 11800 years’ imprisonment sentences was achieved from 1385 cases with 1357 accused, the SAPS said on Sunday.

Two of the most notable convictions emanated from cases reported in the North West of rape and human trafficking, as well as in the Western Cape of child pornography.

In May 2018, the court in Brits sentenced a 47-year-old man to eight life imprisonment sentences for raping three children aged 9, 10 and 11, one of whom is his niece that he eventually impregnated.

Paternity tests proved that he was the father of his niece’s child and police investigations led to the discovery of the other two victims.

In the Western Cape Province, Bellville, a case of child pornography earned an impressive conviction where one of the FCS’s Cyber Crimes Investigation received information about a man in possession of pornographic material.

Dedication, commitment and resilience by the investigators led to the arrest of the perpetrator.

He was charged with three counts of rape, four of sexual assault, 12 counts of manufacturing among other related charges.

The court sentenced him to three life imprisonment for the rape, a total of 57 for other charges and his details are recorded in the National Sexual Offenders register.

Prioritising crime against women, children

Police Minister Bheki Cele says the successful investigated and prosecuted cases such as these are evidence that the police are indeed prioritising crimes against women and children while doing everything in their power to sensitise communities of paedophiles and other sexual offenders lurking in our communities.

“The scourge of violence against women and children is a huge threat to our development as a nation. As the South African Police Service we are committed to making South Africa safer for woman, children and the vulnerable groups,” said Cele.

Cele went on to make a clarion call “to the criminal justice system to deal decisively with perpetrators of gender-based crimes irrespective of their social, political and economic.”

The National Commissioner, General John Khehla Sitole also has commended the members of FCS units across the country and made a clarion call to the members to continue realising the organisation’s mandate of ensuring that criminals are brought to justice and that they participate in efforts to address the causes of crime.

Awareness campaigns

“These awareness campaigns and convictions are worthy of being commended as they are part of the SAPS Turnaround Vision which culminates into the country’ National Development Plan, Vision 2030, where all people in South Africa are and feel safe,” said Sitole.

“I would like to call anyone who has been a victim of gender based violence to immediately report such to the nearest police station or SAPS Crime Stop 08600 10111.

“Unfortunately most incidents of rape and child pornography happen behind closed doors/between the victim and perpetrator with no witnesses, the onus is on the victim to let the police know so that they can investigate, arrest and bring the perpetrator to book,” appealed Sitole.

The SAPS top management says the FCS Units will continue to work in collaboration with Visible Policing, Social Crime Prevention Units to conduct awareness campaigns throughout the year. These will be intensified during child protection week, women’s month as well as 16 days of activism against women and children abuse.

The awareness campaigns will see members going to schools and communities to preach the gospel of children’s safety, cybercrimes such as bullying and pornography, encouraging victims to speak out and report abuse.

SAPS went on to call parents and caregivers to report crimes committed against their children as failure to report such knowledge may result in the prosecution of the parent/caregiver or anyone older that had known about the incident.

They also warned against those women that report false cases of rape, assault et cetera, to refrain from doing such as once a case is reported the police waste much-needed resources and their efforts which could have been diverted to where they are really needed.

Those found to be doing this will be charged with perjury and prosecuted. – SAnews.gov.za