SAPS HIGHLIGHTS THE HEROIC EFFORTS OF DETECTIVE VERONICA BANKS DURING NATIONAL CHILD PROTECTION WEEK

0
34
  • The South African Police Service (SAPS) is using National Child Protection Week to emphasise the vital work of its members in protecting children from various forms of abuse and promoting awareness of children’s rights.
  • Captain Veronica Banks, a veteran detective in the SAPS’ Serial and Electronic Crime Investigations team, has had a remarkable career since 1990, playing a key role in combating child exploitation and securing numerous convictions against serious offenders.
  • Among her notable achievements is the conviction of a father for multiple counts of rape and child pornography, leading to 38 life terms. Banks’ meticulous investigation, triggered by an international alert, uncovered millions of illicit images and videos, showcasing her expertise in cyber forensics and child protection.

This year, the South African Police Service (SAPS) observes National Child Protection Week by highlighting the work of our members who go beyond the call of duty to protect children.

This annual campaign emphasises the importance of protecting children against abuse, neglect, exploitation, and violence, and seeks to promote the awareness of children’s rights as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. 

Meet Captain Veronica Banks, the woman behind the conviction and sentencing of a father with multiple counts of extreme sexual-related crimes. She is a seasoned detective attached to the SAPS’ Serial and Electronic Crime Investigations (SECI) in Gauteng; a specialised team within the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Unit. This team deals with cases that involve serial rapes and child pornography.

Banks’ illustrious career commenced in 1990 when she joined the Service as a student constable. In 1993 she joined the Child Protection Unit, placing her at the forefront of fighting crimes against children.

Banks went on to complete numerous local and international courses on Cyber Forensics, Human Trafficking and Online Child Exploitation. She also presents workshops to empower other detectives to effectively investigate child pornography cases.     

To date, Banks collectively secured 67 life terms and 782 years’ imprisonment sentences for 22 serial rapists and paedophiles who are now behind bars for various sexual offences.

Career highlights are many, but a particular case that stands out is the sentencing of a 41-year-old father from Sasolburg by the High Court in Bloemfontein in 2018 to 38 life terms and an additional 328 years imprisonment on multiple counts of rape, sexual abuse, possession-, manufacturing and distribution of child pornography.

This case landed on Banks’ desk for further investigation after the father’s IP address was flagged by an international law enforcement agency following the arrest of a suspect in the United Kingdom. 

The father drugged girl victims, including his own daughter, where after he raped, sexual abused and used them in the production of child pornography.

Her meticulous investigation led to the father’s arrest and seizure of various electronic devices that contained over two million images and one million videos classified as child pornography, depicting 19 child victims.

“Parents are urged to be proactive by downloading and installing applications (APP’s) onto their children’s electronic devices to monitor and detect any suspicious online activities,” said Banks.

Captain Veronica Banks is nothing short of a heroine who remains relentless in her pursuit to ensure children are safe and feel safe by removing more sexual predators from society!

 

Leave a reply