South Africa:Police Committee Chair Proposes Eight Measures to Deal with Gender Violence

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, November 21, 2017/APO Group-The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police, Mr. Francois Beukman, has proposed eight measures to strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to combat gender violence. Mr. Beukman made the proposals in a speech today during the debate on the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign in the National Assembly.
Mr. Beukman proposed eight practical measures to deal with gender violence.
Compulsory consequence management for South African Police Service (SAPS) members at all levels who respond inadequately to complaints relating to violence against women and children.
Ongoing training and capacity-building programmes for SAPS first responders to deal with victims of domestic and sexual violence.
Allocation of more resources to the SAPS Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) units.
The management of complaints of violence against women and children should be a key performance area for SAPS station commanders. Performance agreements and evaluation should be amended accordingly by Cluster commanders.
Complainants who do not receive adequate service should immediately escalate complaints to shift, station, cluster commanders and provincial commanders and the National Commissioner, and also copy the Civilian Secretariat on the complaints.
The Civilian Secretariat of Police, including the Provincial Police Secretariats, should intensify their station audit roll-out and cooperate with non-governmental organisations and other civil society organisations to highlight stations that do not adhere to minimum standards of assistance to gender violence victims.
Increasing awareness campaigns countrywide to educate learners at schools, churches and local communities about FCS campaigns.
Increase the detection rate of violent crimes committed against women and children and increase court-ready dockets to increase prosecutions.
The Chairperson further urged public representatives in the three spheres of government to play a proactive role in ensuring that SAPS stations live up to their duties in terms of the Domestic Violence Act (DVA) and other relevant legislation.
“MPs should visit the police stations in their allocated constituencies and engage with the station commander on compliance with the DVA and the assistance provided to victims of gender violence,” Mr Beukman emphasised.

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Mareeg senior news editor since 2001 and he can be reached at news@mareeg.com