An act of kindness by a Durban policewoman has just inspired a nation reminding us that not every book can be judged by its collective cover.
Andrew Draper, 42, was so surprised he took to Facebook and shared the story with his 2 000 friends.
“That policewoman showed me that strangers can be selfless and that policemen and women also have hearts,” said Draper on Friday.
The owner of Harvey’s Restaurant in Umhlanga Village said he went to renew his liquor licence at CR Swart Square police station, in the CBD, at around 15:30 on Thursday afternoon.
“There was an old white man standing in front of me and he was giving a policewoman his statement about an attempted hijacking incident.
“While he was explaining, he started crying quietly. She stopped taking down the statement and walked around a very long counter and gave the man a hug and held him… then he broke down completely,” said Draper.
“She sat him down and told him that everything was going to be okay. I was immensely proud of the way she handled the situation. She was warm and considerate and that is rare these days.”
Draper said despite the fact that the police in South Africa did not have a good image, he has always had good experiences at the police station.
“I remember an old policeman in his sixties giving me a hug and I thought to myself, this man hugging me with my gay issues… when you are in that situation, you need the police to be warm and kind towards you,” he said.
Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker heard about the post and added to the conversation.
“We are very pleased to get such feedback from the public when we are doing the right things,” said.
“Our police officers are trained to be compassionate to victims of crime but also to their colleagues. It is important that they are trained on how they should treat people that have exposed to traumatising situations as often they are first responders to crime and they themselves are affected by these horrific incidents of crime,” Naicker said.
And users on social media agree:
Emma Anne Louise Jones commented on Draper’s Facebook post saying, “They [the police] get criticised a lot, but it must be such a hard job at times. You literally see the worst of humanity.”
Allan Graham said: “They also have hearts, it’s the criminals that make them hard.”
And Susan Harvey Herbst said, “How awesome to hear! Yip, there are bad eggs amongst them for sure, but that must have been awesome to see.”
These are the stories we should be seeing with our police force, this is the stuff worth sharing!