The South African Police Service is looking for a junior national commissioner through a competition which has seen high school students debate social ills facing schools including substance abuse.

The Junior National Commissioner is one of the SAPS’s youth crime prevention flagship projects and aims to provide young people with an opportunity to contribute and play a meaningful role in ensuring a safe and conducive learning environment in schools.

“There has been a growing trend in the number of young people, including those within the schooling environment, who are involved in crime either as perpetrators or victims,” national police commissioner General Khehla Sitole said in a statement.

“This is indeed one of the strategic interventions that is focusing on institutionalizing school based crime prevention and working on the psychology of these children, a critical element of developmental crime prevention.”

File Photo/ANA

The department of basic education’s director for school safety Paseka Njobe said the high levels of crime and substance abuse in schools was worrisome.

“So it becomes critical that we join hands with police in projects such as this one with a view of reducing criminal elements in our schools,” Njobe said.

-ANA, editing by Stella Mapenzauswa