The Linden Community Policing Forum Victim Support Unit is the beating heart of Linden police.
The prevalence of crime in our country has increased over the years, leaving many unhappy victims. Yet good samaritans have dedicated their time and resources to offer assistance to victims of crime.
“The Linden Police station and CPF works closely with the victim support group. Volunteers go through a training session, and are then allocated to different crime scenes according to their profile”. After training the volunteers go to three to four crime scenes with an experienced victim supporter, until such time they are assigned to a crime scene alone.
The unit, which works in conjunction with the forum and police officers, has the specific role of being present at a crime scene to assist the victims with trauma and counseling.
The role of the trained volunteers is to act as a buffer between the victims and the police.
Volunteers explain to the victims what they can expect over the next few hours after a crime has happened. Additionally, the unit assists in calling family members and helping with necessary tasks.
Although the unit tries to alleviate as much stress for the victim as is possible at the time, many a time the victims run on adrenaline and any counseling can only be done 48 to 72 hours after the traumatic incident. Victims can also approach the unit for extra counseling after this time.
A volunteer will never go to a scene alone and it is important for that volunteer to not have any preconceived ideas about the crime.
It is important for volunteers to hover on the scene to pick up on information without overburdening the victims with questions, which were possibly already asked by police. She said it is about following protocol and seeing a need.
At the Linden Police Station the volunteers provide information, emotional and practical support, including advising the victims of their rights and informing them of the process that will follow. Counseling and debriefing does not take place at the scene of the crime and is done by a qualified counselor in a controlled environment.
Should the victim require further intervention, the volunteer will contact one of the Linden SAPS Victim Support Centre counselors and advise them accordingly.
The committed volunteers of the Linden SAPS Victim Support Centre offer support to victims of
crime 24 hours a day. All the counseling and support is done free of charge.
Contact number – 065 957 5996