Goodwood police officers and support staff have been praised for going beyond the call of duty.
The officers and clerks had their moment to shine at an awards ceremony, held by the Goodwood Community Police Forum (CPF), at N1 City Mall last week.
The forum’s chairman, John Ross, said it wanted to recognise staff who had performed their
duties in a consistently outstanding way.
Shantal Govender clinched the visible-policing administrator of the year award.
“My job can be quite challenging at times, and every day brings a new challenge,” she said.
Sergeant Charles Japhta, who has been at the station for 15 years, took the trophy for criminal-investigation-department (CID) detective of the year. He investigates high-profile crimes, including murders, hijackings, and burglaries.
“Each and every case is different. I trace down the suspects, bring them to court and hope for a favourable outcome,” said Sergeant Japhta.
More visible policing in Goodwood had reduced crime in the past year, he said.
“What we have found is that criminals who come into the area are put off from committing crimes due to the high number of officers in the neighbourhood at any given time.”
The public should not let their guard down during the festive season as burglaries, armed robberies and thefts of and from vehicles were common at this time of year, he said.
“Residents should be vigilant when someone knocks on their doors wanting to sell them something. I urge them to remember to keep their doors, windows and cars locked at all times.”
Lieutenant-Colonel Hennie Rademeyer, of Durbanville, received a trophy for his outstanding service to the Goodwood community.
He has been stationed at Goodwood for four years and is the visible-policing commander there.
He has handled many cases in his 35-year career, but there is one in particular that still haunts him – the hijacking of a 21-year-old woman.
We tried our best to find her, but when we did, it was too late. She had been tortured and killed by her captors. We eventually caught the suspects, but we could not save her.”
He urged the public to take basic precautions to avoid being a crime victim this festive season.
“Don’t leave valuable property in full view in your cars for thieves to prey on. Be careful when operating in hot-spot areas, and don’t trust strangers easily.”
Senior administration clerk Maryna da Costa won the CID administrator-of-the-year award; Constable Steven Keteldas clinched the court-orderly-of-the-year trophy; Captain Aubrey Ndakisa was named the relief-commander of the year; Captain Noleen Norman was named the human-resources manager of the year, and Warrant Officer Jacques Pieters was named the visible-policing crime-prevention-unit member of the year.