I am not here for the money, I am here to serve, says award-winning cop

2017-01-04 08:40
Constable Diresh Naidoo (Supplied)

Constable Diresh Naidoo (Supplied)

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Bloemfontein – A 31-year-old Free State police officer says that although his call of duty is demanding, he will not trade his profession for anything. 

Constable Diresh "Gosh" Naidoo, who was named the Best Officer for Visible Policing at the SA Police Service Free State Provincial Excellence Awards 2015/16 in October, says he could have pursued a career as a soccer player, but he felt duty bound to serve society as a police officer.

"I don’t regret the choice I made of becoming a police officer," Naidoo told News24.

"I am not here for the money, I am here to serve. I used to look up to my brother wearing a uniform and that just inspired me to follow in his footsteps," added Naidoo, who has been stationed at the Vrede Police Station for the past nine years.

He has been nominated for the recognition three times and he eventually walked away with the prestigious award last year.

"I was shocked to have won the award. It was an amazing feeling. I have been a nominee for the past three years. It is a good thing to know that my work has finally been recognised... It took me three years to get an award.

"I live and carry my duties according to the Code of Conduct, Code of Ethics and Batho Pele. Before I start my day, I read the above three and they are embedded in my heart."

'I just hate seeing people suffer'

He is stationed with the crime prevention unit in the north-eastern Free State town, and has also been appointed as the community policing officer. 

Naidoo says he could have lost hope while serving the country and curbing crime, but because of his passion, he naturally feels duty bound and always strives to ensure that work is done.

"It is difficult at times because lives are lost and I just hate seeing people suffer," he told News24.  

Since he moved to Vrede he's had to learn the different languages spoken in the area in order to blend in with the community - his best link to crime fighting.

He said as an officer, it was essential to be close to residents, who would in turn help with information when trying to solve cases.

Naidoo says he has always been persistent in following up on information and he never loses hope.

"There was an armed robbery case and we were tipped [off] about it. I had to dress like a gardener so that I could blend in and the case ended up being successful," said a proud Naidoo.

Deciding on Naidoo as the Best Officer for Visible Policing might not have been such a tough decision for the judges, as he has distinguished himself as an astute and hard working officer.

According to the judges, during the period April 1, 2015, to March, 31, 2016, he effected arrests in most cases within 24 hours of the incident occurring.

'All cases are very important to me'

In one incident, an arrest was made before the case was registered with the police.

He told News24 that he treated all cases the same, as all of them were important.

"All cases are very important to me because someone's rights would have been violated and it’s my duty as a police officer to uphold and safeguard the rights of every person," he explained.

Naidoo also distributes wheelchairs to disabled people as part of his community service efforts.

He is involved in sports against crime projects aimed at developing "boys to men".

"I have a passion for children and their development. Working with the community is the best way to do this and they are also the best sources of information."

Naidoo has also arranged numerous K9 searches at schools to ensure that children are safe at all times.

He has participated in searches for missing children and also arranges for community members to assist with the searches.

Read more on:    police  |  saps  |  bloemfontein  |  good news

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