From arrests for armed robbery and possession of drugs to drunk driving and coming to the aid of a number of victims of crime, the City’s enforcement agencies had another busy week. Read more below:
The City of Cape Town’s Vice Squad came to the aid of a 35-year-old woman this weekend who had been forced into prostitution in Bellville.
In the early hours of Sunday 21 January 2018, officers on patrol came across a group of women on a street corner near Parksig Villas. They issued Section 56 notices to the group, but noticed a newcomer. When officers interviewed the woman, she indicated that she had been brought to Cape Town from Johannesburg under false pretences, drugged and forced into prostituting herself. The officers arranged for her transfer to a place of safety and handed the case over to the Hawks for further investigation.
‘Sadly, the plight of this woman is not unique. Human trafficking is far more common than I think many people realise. These are the most vulnerable members of our society who are exploited by ruthless criminals. While I’m sure the criminal justice system can and should do much more, one also has to remind customers that they are part of the problem because they create the demand,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.
Elsewhere, the City’s Law Enforcement Department made 11 arrests for various offences, issued 2 075 fines and 100 compliance notices.The City’s Traffic Services arrested 78 suspects including 55 for drunken driving, five for reckless and negligent driving and 11 for outstanding warrants. Officers also issued 3 535 fines for various other offences.
Just after midnight on Tuesday 16 January 2018, two officers attached to the Ghost Squad were on patrol along the N2 near Langa when they saw a vehicle on the shoulder of the road with its hazards on. As the officers stopped to investigate, they saw four suspects run away from the scene. Officers soon established that the occupants of the light delivery vehicle had been robbed by the suspects and one of them had been stabbed. Officers drove into Langa with one of the victims and soon apprehended one of the four suspects after he was positively identified by the victim.
After returning to the crime scene, a red Hyundai stopped alongside and the driver indicated that he too had been robbed by a gang of four youths who forced him into a trench, stabbed him and robbed him of his cellphone and watch. The driver positively identified the suspect in custody as being among those who attacked him.
The Metro Police Department meanwhile arrested 47 suspects including 17 motorists for drunken driving and 30 suspects for a range of offences which include the illegal possession and dealing in drugs, possession of suspected stolen property, possession of dangerous weapons, possession of illegal ammunition, possession of an imitation firearm, theft out of a motor vehicle, and cable theft.
On Thursday 18 January 2018, officers made four arrests after following up on traffic infringements they witnessed.
In Mitchells Plain, officers on patrol in Woodlands saw a white Honda spinning its wheels at an intersection. As they approached the vehicle, the driver sped off and the officers gave pursuit. The driver drove into a cul-de-sac where he and his passenger jumped out of the vehicle, locked it and ran away. Officers spotted a replica firearm on the driver’s seat and waited for the suspects to return. They did so sometime later, and both were arrested for possession of an imitation firearm. The driver faces an additional charge of reckless and negligent driving.
In Claremont, Metro Police officers were conducting a crime prevention operation when the saw a Toyota Quantum with trailer attached disobeying a red traffic light. The driver refused to stop when instructed and was eventually forced off the road after a short chase. While officers were interviewing the driver, a motorist stopped and indicated that the trailer attached to the Quantum had been stolen from his residence in Wynberg a few hours earlier. The driver and his passenger were arrested for possession of suspected stolen property and an additional charge of reckless and negligent driving was added to the driver’s charge sheet.
‘We’ve had numerous cases where apparent run-of-the-mill traffic transgressions result in staff unearthing more serious crimes. The recent successes by our Metro Police Department are a timely reminder. There’s often criticism about vehicle checkpoints or roadblocks or why our staff are policing minor traffic infractions and not tackling real crime. The response is that criminals are not static, but move around and this is but one way of slamming the brakes on crime. The maxim that ‘he who controls the roads controls crime’ applies here,’ added Alderman Smith.