The National Commissioner of Police, General Khehla John Sitole has urged communities across the length and breadth of South Africa to intensify its support to the SAPS in its efforts to root out corruption, combat crime and flatten the curve of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The National Commissioner has chosen this day, the SAPS National Police Day, to make this call and highlight the importance of community participation in the fight against crime.

On 27 January 1995, the South African Police Service Act, 1995 (Act No 68 of 1995) was promulgated. On 27 January 2005 the SAPS celebrated its 10th Anniversary as a Service to the South African Democracy. The South African Cabinet took a decision to declare the 27th of January as National Police Day which day has been celebrated since then. However, this year’s actual celebrations had to be suspended as the country faces the devastating plague of the COVID-19 virus.

Members of the SAPS, with the support of members of the SANDF, other government departments, local metro police officers and national and provincial traffic departments in this past year have taken to the streets to protect people against this virus in the midst of combatting other serious crimes like gender-based violence and femicide, contact crimes and aggravated robberies amongst others.

“Police officers accross the country continue to ensure that the people of South Africa are and feel safe despite our organisation having lost over 500 members to the COVID-19 virus and thousands of our members infected since this outbreak hit our shores”, said General Sitole.

“While the greater majority of the people of the country stand in unity with the police against crime and this pandemic there are still many people who continue to put people in harm’s way with approximately 13 000 people being charged for simply not wearing a mask”, added General Sitole.

Therefore the urgency for community participation and cooperation to combat crime and this virus cannot be over emphasized.