National Police Commissioner, General Khehla Sitole, has urged SAPS leaders to acknowledge and reward the efforts of its ground troops for putting their lives on the line in an effort to reduce crime.
Sitole made the call during the first Special Crime Detection Awards organised by the South African Police Service (SAPS) Crime Detection Services on Thursday upon the completion of its three-day conference in Pretoria.
Sitole commended police officers for their efforts in curbing the recent wave of cash-in-transit heists that swept the country, saying crime was negatively affecting the nation’s economy.
“This crime is targeted at the grand economic strategy of the country but within an unbelievably short space of time, it has stabilised,” said the commissioner.
Sitole said officers are helping to create a conducive climate for economic growth.
“They have demonstrated the slogan of the turnaround strategy by rendering a patriotic and selfless service. We saw several members dying, getting shot by criminals.
“They sacrificed their lives during the process of solving these crimes but they continued and never gave in to criminals until this (cash-in-transit) crime stabilised. That needs to be deeply appreciated,” he said.
Officers, Sitole said, need to be valued and acknowledged.
“What members are doing, no matter how big or small, they need to be acknowledged. We should not wait until they’ve done something wrong. The acknowledgement of members starts with something as small as a letter of appreciation. Members need to be told that ‘what you did today was marvellous’.
“We lose nothing if we write letters of appreciation, as there is no telling the impact it has on the morale of members,” said Sitole.
His words were echoed by Crime Detection Deputy National Commissioner Lebeoana Jacob Tsumane.
On Sunday, SAPS commemorated 29 officers who died on duty.
Tsumane on Wednesday said some of these members might have been saluted for their efforts before their demise.
“Vision 2030 demands from us to ensure that all people are and feel safe and that the economy of the country stabilises and flourishes as well.”
Tsumane said SAPS was exceptionally proud of the immaculate work done daily by its nominees and winners.
“The huge strides and successes that you have achieved are a result of hard work, diligence and commitment. You would not be here tonight if your work was not your passion.”
Tsumane said it needs to be conceded that South Africa is a country plagued by socio-economic ills, which need to be overcome.
“These are not ills of our own making but because of our historical background that we will one day overcome. The social fabric is not holding up well as it should be and this poses a lot of challenges to the police and society as a whole. It affects all walks of life. That is why tonight we are able to boast about your achievements,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za