Many South Africans are travelling around in this festive season, and getting pulled over is inevitable. Women can be more vulnerable in cases when male officers abuse their position. Briefly took a look at women's rights in such situations.
With the sad but real threat of violence by an officer of the law, it is important for women to know what their rights are in a situation when she's been pulled over.
A report by News24 indicates that the Independent Police Investigative Directorate's yearly report for 2017/18 recorded about 105 incidents of sexual assault by a police officer.
With that in mind, it is important for women to know their rights when they are pulled over.
The KZN traffic department pointed out a few things that women should keep in mind when they are to be searched or arrested.
A female officer must be present during a search
In the case that a woman has to be searched or arrested, then a woman officer needs to do the body search.
If there is no female officer present, that does not warrant the male officer a right to proceed with the search.
However, just because a female officer is not present, does not allow for a woman to leave a scene. A female officer must be called to the site instead.
The male officer must ask for assistance from any other female officer that is around the area to assist in the body search. They are not allowed to [search women]. If safety is compromised in any way when the female officer comes to the scene, if you are arrested or committed an offence, that is when you will report the incident.
An officer of the law is always expected to keep an appointment card on their person
While on duty, a form of verification must be kept on an officer at all times. This information can be used in case any wrongdoing has occurred.
It is up to you as an individual to report the case to the police station. It is easy to verify an officer through an appointment card. If the officer evades that, you can take the van's vehicle registration number.
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