Rape victims lose hope in cops

Rape Crisis says the harshest punishment possible should be given to cops who commit rape.

Victim. Picture: Stock.XCHNG

CAPE TOWN - Rape Crisis has called on the courts to hand down the harshest punishment possible to police officers who are found guilty of rape.

Over the past few weeks at least four officers have been arrested for sexually related offences in the Western Cape.

Rape Crisis's Kathleen Dey says incidents like these are the reason many rape survivors don't report their attacks to the police as they don't trust them.

"It's our mission to act as a bridge between a rape survivor and the criminal justice system to reduce the secondary trauma. It's very detrimental to encourage women to report rape cases in the first place."

MEC URGES COPS TO TAKE A STAND

Western Cape Community Safety MEC Dan Plato said he believes provincial police top brass should urgently intervene following a series of rape incidents allegedly involving police.

There have been two separate incidents reported in the Worcester area over the space of just a few days.

Two officers accused of sexually assaulting women appeared separately in the Worcester Magistrate's court on Monday.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) said at least nine rape matters where police have been accused have been reported in the Western Cape over the past year.

Plato said this is of great concern.

"We cannot tolerate a thing like that to happen. I am calling on General Arno Lamoer to take the necessary steps by sending a clear message to his male colleagues that need to show the necessary respect to women out there."

The IPID's Moses Dlamini said a thorough investigation into both cases is currently underway.

"It is a concern. Our role is to investigate each matter in terms of the IPID Act, which came into force on 1 April 2012."

Earlier this month a Paarl policeman was arrested for allegedly raping a 14-year-old teenage girl.

He was later released from police custody on R1,500 bail.