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STATEMENT BY MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR SAFETY AND SECURITY; AND SOCIAL SERVICES, ALDERMAN JP SMITH

I note, with concern, two incidents this past weekend where City enforcement staff were targeted by criminals.

In one incident a Metro Police constable sustained a fractured foot and arm after having been being run over by the driver of a vehicle that he was pursuing at the time.

In the second incident, one of our Traffic officers was left traumatised after being robbed at gunpoint of his service pistol and cellphone. He had been flagged down by the suspects under the pretext of needing directions.

The suspects in the incident involving the Metro Police officer have been arrested and the driver is facing an attempted murder charge. I call on the criminal justice system to mete out the harshest possible sentence as the driver attempted to run over a second Metro Police officer while trying to evade capture. It is also important to note that he had two minors in the vehicle with him of which the youngest was just three years old.

As for the incident involving our Traffic officer, the City has registered a criminal case and we are assisting the South African Police Service as far as possible to bring those responsible to book. I appeal to anyone who might have information about this incident to please contact their nearest police station.

These incidents are an indication of the danger that our staff face on an all too regular basis, but despite this, they continue to enforce the law and make arrests. In the past week, the Traffic Service and Metro Police Department arrested 149 suspects.

The Cape Town Traffic Service issued 2 306 fines and arrested 95 suspects on the roads of which 72 were arrested for drunk driving. At a roadblock in Bothasig yesterday, 8 July 2018, 10 drivers were left punch-drunk after being arrested for outstanding warrants.

The Ghost Squad, meanwhile, arrested a driver who crashed his vehicle on the N1 outgoing just before Sable Road. An officer observed the vehicle travelling in excess of 180km/h and losing control just before the Sable Road off-ramp. The driver and female passenger were found to be in possession of tik and suspected of being under the influence of both alcohol and narcotics. The incident was captured by the officer’s dashboard camera: https://youtu.be/a4rAhSXJX2c

The Transport Enforcement Unit impounded 30 public transport vehicles during operations in Bellville, Mitchells Plain and the Cape Town CBD.

The Metro Police Department arrested 54 suspects, including a number of drunk drivers who blew their own covers. One nearly caused a collision and drove off, but a member of the public flagged down a passing Metro Police officer who tracked down the vehicle and arrested the driver for driving under the influence. Another was spotted driving on the wrong side of Jakes Gerwel Drive by officers on patrol in the area. In Woodstock, a third drunk driver drew attention to himself by driving without his headlights on.

On Wednesday 4 July 2018, the Gang and Drug Task Team followed up on information about illegal drug activity at a house in Hanover Park. They arrested a 20-year-old suspect for possession of 10 packets of tik. While busy with the arrest, the officers received another tip-off about drug activity at a house nearby. They followed up and arrested three suspects for dealing in drugs after finding 14 dagga parcels, a 25-litre bucket filled with dagga and a 20-kilogram bag of dagga. The three suspects, aged 25, 28 and 29, were detained at Philippi SAPS.

The City of Cape Town appreciates the efforts of those members of the public who contribute to the fight against crime by sharing information that has the potential to lead to successes like these. It underscores the reality that crime fighting is a shared responsibility that needs everyone to pitch in if we are to reduce our crime rates and make communities safer.

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