Special needs pupils enjoy 16 Days of Activism campaign

The Search and Rescue team were also part of the initiative.

Echoing the true meaning of partnerships, the Malvern SAPS, in conjunction with the Umlazi K9 Unit, the Durban Flying Squad, Search and Rescue Unit and Westpark Special Needs School launched the 16 Days of Activism campaign in true blue style, on Monday.

The children were treated to a well-choreographed display by the police officers of the Umlazi K9 Unit, Search and Rescue, Durban Flying Squad and the Malvern SAPS.

Communications officer of Malvern SAPS, W/O Radhika Marimuthu, said the mock-carjacking included the staff of Westpark School, who took their cue from Umlazi K9’s dynamic Cnst Stephen O’ Connell and Cnst Eugene de Beer, as well as the energetic W/O David Bramley and his quick-paced partner, Sgt Andre Swanepoel.

Energetic K9, Spark, under the command of Cnst O’Connell.

“In a pulsating and rapid car chase, the police officers together with Malvern’s Cnst Lavern Gounden and Cnst Nelson Moodley trailed the ‘hijacked vehicle’ until it was forced to a stop. With a volley of rapid firing of blanks, the ‘hijacker’ raced out of the car and was tackled by the energetic K9, Spark, under the command of Cnst O’Connell. The children cheered on as the ‘hijacker’ was led away. This mock-carjacking was undertaken as an important exercise to indicate that from these crimes lead to violence to women and children,” added W/O Marimuthu.

ALSO READ: Stop the violence now! 

The focus on the 16 Days of Activism campaign focuses on crimes against women and children but more often than not, it is these crimes that perpetuate violence against families, which include women and children.

The nature of this mock-carjacking sequence by the various units was to show the interplay and partnerships between the units, leading up to when search and rescue becomes essential. It also embodied holistic hints to the audience, who became aware of the dos and dont’s and how important it is for a victim to remain calm.

The various role-players, together with some of the pupils at the event.

Station commander of the Malvern SAPS, Lt Col Valarine Reddy, said the mock-carjacking sequence was a deliberate sway from the normal launch of 16 Days of Activism campaign and was strategised to show execution, action and service delivery by and from the different units working together in a concerted partnership.

“While it’s important to light the traditional candle signaling the inception of the campaign, it’s also prudent to bring to real life the planning, action and execution taken by the police to save people from becoming victims of crime,” she added.

Yoshini Perumal

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