On Friday, 24 September 2021, the Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, visited the Overberg Municipality as a guest of honour at the Overberg Patrol Officers Community Safety Competition.
In partnership with the Department of Community Safety, the Overberg Municipality recruited 168 participants into the Youth Safety Ambassador Programme. These are young people between the ages of 18 and 35; placed at police stations in the Overberg to support the work of the SAPS, amongst others, through visible foot patrols in communities in the region. The Patrol Officers were given training in basic crime prevention and continue to receive in-service training at the police stations at which they are placed.
Minister Fritz said, “The Department of Community Safety partnered with a number of municipalities and provided funding for stipends for Youth Safety Ambassadors. I am very excited at the work that the Overberg Municipality is doing with the young people who were appointed. It is exactly what we were looking for in partners: that local institutions would incorporate young people into meaningful activities in which they would learn real skills.”
In addition to the experience participants receive at police stations, the Overberg Patrol Officers Programme also provides opportunities for work readiness and information on further career opportunities. Participants are also exposed to training on employability and other soft skills around conducting oneself within a working environment.
The Overberg Patrol Officer Community Safety Competition will see participants compete in work-related activities such as platoon drilling, physical fitness and obstacle courses, running and mountain biking. Other activities include radio communication procedures, approaching suspects and arresting procedures in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act, control and approach of suspicious vehicles and crime scene management.
Minister Fritz concluded, “I want to thank everyone, including our DOCS staff, the SAPS and the Overberg Municipality, who have made this programme possible. I would like to thank the communities of the Overberg who have received the programme so positively and who have given it their support. Lastly, I want to thank the beneficiaries for grabbing the opportunities availed to them with both hands. I hope that this programme will be a stepping-stone on a positive career path that stretches far into the horizon.”