There’s rarely an opportunity to walk up to a police officer and ask them the questions you’d really like to ask. For whatever reasons, there is an increasing feeling of “us and them” between the community and the police officers who work within them.
Highly acclaimed South African author, Lauren Beukes (author of Moxyland and The Shining Girls) together with The City of Cape Town, live-tweeted 4 ride-alongs with 4 different Metro Police officers over 4 weeks. Lauren’s tweets told the officers’s side of the story, how Cape Town Metro Police fit into the bigger crime prevention picture, and who these police officers are as people.
The purpose of the campaign was to show that Cape Town Metro Police are real people. They grew up on the streets of Cape Town and they are the ones best suited to protecting them.
The police officers ranged in rank from constable to senior superintendent, across a variety of ages, genders and experience.
Constable Busisiwe Yedwa was one of the police officers to take Lauren on a ride-along through the streets of Hanover Park and surrounds. What started as a typical patrol shift soon turned into an incredible story about life as a female police officer, earning respect, dealing with gang shoot-outs and the prevention of substance abuse.
The campaign launched on the 1st of February and continued till early March. Find all 4 of the ride-along stories here.
Constable Caswell Julies was the final police officer to feature in the ride-alongs.