FEEL GOOD | Northern Cape cop breaks barriers as first female to drive a Casspir

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Constable Amy Fielding is the first woman in the Northern Cape to qualify to drive a SAPS Casper.
Constable Amy Fielding is the first woman in the Northern Cape to qualify to drive a SAPS Casper.
  • Constable Amy Fielding is the first woman in the Northern Cape to qualify to drive a SAPS Casspir.
  • Fielding was recently awarded state authority to drive the police vehicle.
  • The officer is currently attached to the Public Order Police Unit in Springbok.

She may only stand 1.6m tall, but Constable Amy Fielding strikes an imposing figure as she climbs into a SAPS Casspir.

Fielding, 26, is the first woman in the Northern Cape to obtain a licence to drive a police Casspir and is the only woman in her 55-person unit who can drive the vehicle.

She joined the Public Order Police Unit in 2019.

To drive a Casspir, Fielding needed to pass her Code 10 and PDP licence, as well as state authority to drive the vehicle.

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She recently obtained her state authority during a test in the mammoth vehicle at the Springbok Training Centre.

When asked what driving the heavy vehicle is like, Fielding brushes off her accomplishment and simply responds that it "just takes some concentration".

Encouragement

Based in Springbok, Fielding's unit is frequently dispatched to quell unrest and manage crowds across the province.

The young police officer completed her basic training in Oudtshoorn when she was 21, after her dad convinced her to join the service.

"I never wanted to be a police officer. I wanted to be a teacher, but my dad encouraged me to join in 2016, and I fell in love," recalled Fielding.

Having grown up in the small town of Steinkopf, about 45km outside Springbok, Fielding loves seeing new places as part of her duties.

"I love that public order policing allows you to meet new people and go to new places. It's nice to travel, especially when you're from a small town," she said.

However, crowd management does come with its challenges, said Fielding, especially when you're a petite woman.

"You always feel nervous when faced with public unrest, but we have senior officials to guide us," she said.

"Sometimes, members of the public see me as small and a woman, and they try to take advantage, but it helps to have the support of my unit. We're all brothers and sisters in blue, and I never feel like there's anything I can't do," she said.

The unit's ranks, with regard to female officers, recently increased from four  to 15 during the last intake, she said.

The next challenge Fielding has set for herself is to qualify to drive a police Nyala.

She will have to attend a specialised course to do so, due to the size and technique required to drive and park the vehicle.

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