Captain du Toit thanks for a great job!

The South African Police all too often get bad publicity owing to a few bad eggs and usually because of the fact that bad news sells far better than good. Television, newspapers and online news post seldom feature the incredibly good work that the police do, preferring to rather dig up dirt.

In large cities and towns the local police are relatively invisible as individuals for the simple reason that there is little or no interaction with the public. In smaller communities such as St Francis it is far different. The residents of these smaller communities get to know their police and many have reason to interact with them on a regular basis. In other words the police are well known by the community, both by the law abiding and by those with a more criminal leaning.

Many if not most successes achieved by police in fighting crime are through their understanding and knowledge of the community they protect. Trust is possibly the most important component for once they have the trust of the community their fight against crime and general policing becomes all the more effective. But trust takes time to build and as their successes become more and more evident  so the trust factor grows. A trusting community is far more likely to offer up information on crime they witness than a community where there is no trust or respect.

In St Francis we are indeed fortunate in that heading up the local constabulary we have a truly dedicated, effective and capable leader in Captain Johan du Toit. Not only does Capt. du Toit head up the station as station commander but also heads up a very active and successful detective team. This in itself is a little unusual for normally the station commander would be a uniformed officer so the fact that du Toit has so ably managed both positions says much for is people management skills.

Having been stationed in the area for the past two years, du Toit certainly has cemented bonds within the  community and earned their trust. Peet Leen, chairman of the Sea Vista Community Policing Forum (CPF) has this to say.  “Capt. du Toit has taken the time to both understand and address the problems of Sea Vista. He has been extremely effective in identifying the ring leaders within community and has made a huge difference in restricting the activities of the criminals.”

Chatting with Lyn Edwards of Calibre Security, a company that obviously works closely with the police had this to say, “Capt. du Toit has been hugely effective and proactive since he took up his position in St Francis and has truly made an enormous difference. I really don’t know what we would do were we to ever lose him for he has really taken the time to understand the community and has certainly curbed crime in the St Francis precinct by identifying and actively seeking out the ring leaders.”

And further praise from John Hammond who heads up the local Policing Community Forum

“Capt. du Toit has certainly become a very integral member of the community and through his successes, has won the trust of the community of not only Sea Vista but also that of both St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis. He has done a superb job interfacing with the CPF and I have found him extremely open and helpful in trying new initiatives including being extremely helpful in our efforts to introduce CCTV monitoring in known problem areas. Crime has fallen by more that 30 percent since he took up his position and not only has he brought many of the perpetrators of crime to book, but has often recovered precious keepsakes and property of victims. ”

Having met Capt. du Toit whilst attending a Community Policing Forum meeting and having chatted to him in the past, he is the sort of officer that St Francis desperately needs. Stories of successes from victims of crime where Capt. du Toit has brought the culprits to book are numerous and far too many to add to this article but one he related was where a valuable ring had been stolen. The captain explaining how the community is so important in helping the police, told how they were able over a period of five days of intensive investigation to not only arrest the perpetrator but also recover the ring.

Capt. du Toit is not only well respected by the community, he is very much part of it.

St Francis Today, and we are sure all of the law abiding residents of St Francis extend our thanks, not only to Capt. du Toit, but to all his colleagues in SAPS St Francis. Keep up the great work of keeping us protected.