‘I won’t rest until sentencing’ – winning detective

2016-03-17 13:22
Detective Constable Monica Bouwer, who won national award for detective employee of the year (levels 5-7). (Supplied by SAPS)

Detective Constable Monica Bouwer, who won national award for detective employee of the year (levels 5-7). (Supplied by SAPS)

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Cape Town – Helping victims of sexual and violent crimes and seeing their perpetrators convicted is the most satisfying reward for Cradock-based police officer Monica Bouwer.

And of utmost importance for the 36-year-old detective constable is offering emotional support to those she serves in the small Eastern Cape town of Hofmeyr.

“For me, I always put myself in the shoes of the victim and ask: What would I want the investigating officer to do for me? I do for victims what I would want another police official to do for my relatives,” she told News24 on Thursday.

Bouwer received the top honour of detective of the year (level 5-7) at the SA Police Service national service excellence awards ceremony last week.

The top brass recognised her instrumental role in ensuring convictions. Her long hours and voluntary work over weekends without remuneration did not go unnoticed.

Bouwer said the police force had been her home for 8 years, the last 2 as a detective.

The award came as a complete surprise.

“I feel honoured because at least I get recognition for what I am doing. And I enjoy what I do.”

'Victims humiliated'

Describing herself as very inquisitive, Bouwer began watching detective series at an early age.

Even now, she wrestles her husband and children for the TV remote so she can watch NCIS.

“It was something I wanted to do for a long time. Sometimes you see how cases are ending up and I said to myself: Uh, uh it’s not right. And I see how victims are being humiliated in court by not properly investigating things,” she says.

Every docket is unique for her because no crime scene is the same and victims have different emotional reactions.

Bouwer believes it is vital to meet residents on their level, and nowhere is this more important than during awareness campaigns. 

“If you visit old age homes, some people are illiterate, so use words they can understand.”

Louzel Lombard, a former resident of the Cradock area who still follows events there, says Bouwer “is a force to be reckoned with”.

“Sy vat nie kak nie!” [She doesn’t take nonsense].

Bouwer advised potential sexual offenders to think about how they would react if their own partners or children were victims.

With strength in her voice, she warns: “If the docket lands in my hands, I won’t rest, up until the day they are sentenced”.

Read more on:    police

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