Volunteers to receive training for better support services

The community police forum meeting at Athlone police station on Wednesday October 31 heard that volunteers would be trained to staff a counselling room at the police station for traumatised crime victims.

The volunteers will be trained by the police and the community police forum.

At the monthly CPF meeting at the police station, late last month, station commander, Colonel Mark Adonis said qualified counsellors – who could take referrals from the support staff – were still needed.

“A trauma room in any police station is of utmost importance and these volunteers will be on 24/7 standby.

“They are not counsellors but they will provide victim support. We need assistance from the community to make it fully functional,” he said.

The trauma room wasn’t being used to its full potential as it lacked furniture and designated staff, he said.

Fowzia Veerasamy, who is chairwoman of both Sector 1A and Gatesville Neighbourhood Watch, said the trauma room needed more than one person to run because crime happened at all hours.

“Victims need a safe and comfortable place to undergo therapy,” she said.

CPF chairwoman Aziza Kannmeyer conceded the trauma room wasn’t running the way it was meant to. She hoped that would change with the arrival of the volunteers.

“We are now trying to appoint people who will go for basic training so that they can assist SAPS.

“The trauma room provides a safe place for victims of crimes; sometimes they just need to offload and other times they need to be referred for therapy.”