Kempton SAPS officer adopts Sir Pierre Van Ryneveld High

Sir Pierre Van Ryneveld High School’s principal Margaret Wrigley and Kempton Park SAPS’ Capt Shadrack Magcuntsu are equally excited about the school’s new development through the Adopt-A-Cop project recently launched at the school.

Sir Pierre Van Ryneveld High School has been adopted by Capt Shadrack Magcuntsu from Kempton Park SAPS during the launch of the Adopt-A-Cop at the school.

Adopt-A-Cop is a way for the police to get closer to schools and help with the challenges pertaining to school safety and substance abuse, among other things. A school is identified and a police officer is then allocated to that school.

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Magcuntsu, who is eager to work with the school, explained some of the engagements to be expected through the project.

“I look forward to working with the school. I am glad it has finally materialised as it has been part of the plans for a while. We sat with the Social Crime Prevention Unit to specify the functions of this programme as we had to know exactly what we were going to do when adopting the school.

“One of the things we will focus on is the safety of educators and learners at the school. We will visit the school and patrol every day from Monday to Friday and work together with the security personnel of the school,” said Magcuntsu.

Representatives of Kempton Park SAPS Youth Desk, Social Crime Prevention Unit, Department of Education, Kempton Park CPF and ward councillor Jaco Terblanche were among those present at the project launch.

“We are also worried about the people coming to the school to sell drugs to learners. We are aware of this and it is one of the reasons we came up with this programme to help fight such activities.

“Some of the problems will become history through Adopt-A-Cop. We will ensure that all at the school feel our presence. We are not here to scare learners but we want learners to understand the police and how to work with us.”

“Adopting the school is not an easy job that I have taken. I pray that whatever I say today I will not hide tomorrow. I am asking for your support. I will hand over my contact details to management so you can contact me first should you need police assistance or report matters in order to get the needed immediate response. This will also eliminate cases where you are unable to get hold of the police.

“If I have to open a case, then I will do that and if I have to arrest an educator or learner, then I will do so. I will give a report of whatever the incident was. The report will also be given to the School Governing Body (SGB).”

Brig Samuel Maredi, Kempton Park SAPS station commander, also addressed those present.

“Primarily, this is a project where the police want to be close to the schools. This is one of the schools in Kempton Park that has been identified as one of the problematic schools in terms of the school safety programmes, so we want to see ourselves, as police, putting a foot in this building. We want to see ourselves knocking on all the classrooms, expected and unexpected. We want to be involved as police.

“Identifying the school is not enough. We thought to bring someone who will take ownership of the school in terms of policing, which is why we appointed Magcuntsu. We need to work together and take ownership of the school and in this way, we will  send a strong message to neighbouring schools that we say no to crime.

“We don’t want our children involved in criminal activities. Arresting a child is heart-breaking because once their fingerprints are in the system, their future is destroyed. We also want to put an end to children being used by external forces to sell drugs. We shouldn’t fear to fight these activities because they are our children and future and we want to see them being responsible leaders.”

Representatives of Kempton Park SAPS Youth Desk, Social Crime Prevention Unit and the department of education were also at the programme launch, including ward councillor Jaco Terblanche, who said the community also needed to get involved.

“I think we need to take the initiative and go out there and tell the community that one crime in the area is one too much and that it is important for them to report crimes. We need to make 100 per cent sure that we get Kempton Park to a zero crime area,” said Terblanche.

The school’s principal, Margaret Wrigley, said she looked forward to a healthy and effective partnership.

“This is a good school. Education is most successful when the school and community work together,” said Wrigley.

“We have a discipline structure and the community can get hold of us if they have information, as we can’t act if we are unaware. Every school has a problem and the community needs to be alert and report matters to help the police protect our children.”

  AUTHOR
Puleng Sekabate
Journalist

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