Rosmead SUPERSPAR Community Involvement 


Revamp for victim support facility: Article by ASTRID FEBRAURIE  @FebAstrid

In an attempt to provide effective and efficient services to victims of crime the Claremont Police Station’s Victim Friendly Centre underwent a revamp. The upgrade is a joint initiative between provincial police, Business Against Crime and Spar. Captain Angie Latchman, spokesperson of the Claremont Police Cluster, says the revamp is part of 365 Days of Activism Campaign for No Violence Against Women and Children.

The facility was re-launched on Tuesday 8 April. “One of the main reasons behind this revamp is to create a standardised look of all the victim friendly facilities in the province, irrespective if the station is in an urban or rural area,” she says. Latchman says the revamp will also ensure that all victims receive the same service or treatment. “The facility will provide a more user-friendly environment for victims of crime; it will also ensure that victims are treated professionally,” she says.

The entire cost of the revamp was carried by Business Against Crime and Rosmead Superspar. “The facility at Claremont is 12 years old and currently has six volunteer counsellors who offer their assistance 24 hours,” Latchman says. Shawn Koen, project manager of Business Against Crime, says the facility was upgraded to provide all victims of crime and violence with a basket of integrated and accessible services that meet their needs for restoration and empower them to take their rightful place in society. “Over the years the interior and furniture in the victim friendly facilities have deteriorated extensively. A working group decided to put a plan in place to standardise all the facilities within the province so that victims of crime and violence are not being subjected to secondary victimisation,” he says. “Approval was given by provincial police,” adds Koen.

He says the facilities will strengthen the collaborative approach adopted by the Victim Empowerment Programme and has as its goal the provision of a seamless suite of service to victims of crime and meeting their rights. “The Police Act states that police officers are fully responsible for the traumatised victims. It is the police’s responsibility to the treat victims with respect and compassion. The hope is that victims will feel more comfortable being debriefed in the new facility,” he says. Koen says the victim support rooms in the province are functioning well due to the assistance of volunteers who have a passion to help traumatised victims of crime, nurturing and calming them.