FCS unit works tirelessly to fight abuse How the public can assist the police:

2016-10-12 06:00

ATEAM of police detectives, fighting for abused women and children, have described their daily challenges and what it takes to catch criminals.

Plessislaer’s Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) 22-man unit of detectives, led by Captain Themba Kunene, overcome major­ obstacles each day, from tracing rapists to consoling their weeping victims.

Speaking on behalf of his team, Kunene, who has headed the unit for two years, said the team work tirelessly to secure convictions, but can always do with help from the public.

Describing the crimes most prominent in their jurisdiction - Bulwer, Himeville, Mid-Illovo­, Thornville, Taylor’s Halt, Richmond and Plessislaer - Kunene said abuse against women and children remains rife.

“We get a lot of assault cases where children are victims and the violence is perpetrated by their parents and family members. There are also cases of abandoned children,” Kunene said.

“Rapists are mostly people known to the victim.”

Describing their challenges when investigating a case, Kunene said many victims withdraw cases after the family puts pressure on them or in some cases, the victims or their families are paid to drop the charges.

“There is also still a perception that a victim may be judged, stigmatised and humiliated by the police and by the courts. This makes them reluctant to report incidents,” he said.

• Report cases immediately after they have occurred.

• If frequenting taverns and pubs, go in a group and do not walk home alone during the early hours of the morning.

• Do not leave your drinks unattended.

• Remember that anybody can be a perpetrator of sexual crimes, be it a teacher or a close family member.

• Parents must observe their children and not ignore what they say.

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