Police Minister Bheki Cele said the SAPS and the Department of Basic Education have collaborated to deal with violence in schools amongst learners and the kidnapping of children from schools.
POLICE Minister Bheki Cele has identified Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, North West and the Western Cape as hot-spot provinces in which learners get kidnapped from school.
Cele made this revelation in a written Parliamentary reply to DA MP Ntombi Khumalo, who enquired about collaborative interventions undertaken by the SAPS and the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to deal with violence in schools among learners and the kidnapping of children from schools.
According to Cele, the SAPS and DBE have completed the process of reviewing the School Safety Protocol, which guides the implementation of school safety programmes aimed at promoting safer schools nationally.
“There are various crime awareness campaigns, which are implemented and conducted by the SAPS, at schools to address, amongst others, incidences of bullying and gangsterism amongst learners, in and around school premises. Currently, there is a National School Safety Violence and Bullying Prevention Initiative that is being implemented, in response to the emerging incidents of bullying and violence by learners, on and off school premises.”
On kidnappings of learners, the police minister said awareness campaigns that focus on the kidnapping of learners from schools are conducted on an ongoing basis with multidisciplinary investigation teams having been established in the hot-spot provinces of Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, North West and the Western Cape.
Cele said, for the investigation of kidnapping cases, the multidisciplinary teams make use of the arrest of identified persons, centralisation of case dockets for investigation purposes, centralisation of case dockets for trial in court and prosecutor-directed investigations with the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) and collection and analysis of data and information received, on the cases that are investigated by the multidisciplinary teams.
He added that this intervention has resulted in a decrease in the kidnapping of schoolchildren.