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The Rail Enforcement Unit (REU) made three arrests and inspected 84 hotspots and scrapyards this past week. This is in addition to the five suspects arrested by the PRASA Protection Services, SAPS Rapid Rail Response Unit and private security contractors.
The REU arrested three suspects for possession of dangerous weapons, suspected stolen property and malicious damage to property in Ravensmead, Elsies River, and Diep River. Furthermore, 588 stop-and-searches were conducted, and fines to the value of R8 300 were issued.
Another five suspects were arrested and may be prosecuted in terms of the Criminal Matters Amendment Act which provides for stricter bail conditions and harsher sentences, including up to 30 years’ imprisonment, for those caught and convicted for destruction of essential infrastructure. There were 27 court appearances over the past week and bail was successfully opposed in all cases.
The Metrorail Protection Services removes vagrants within the rail operating precincts on a rotational basis every week – this past week 75 vagrants were removed between Tygerberg and Parow and 26 structures dismantled between Salt River and Observatory.
Suspects arrested in terms of the Criminal Matters Amendment Act and malicious damage to property, being in possession of stolen property and suspected of rape
Pickaxe Spade Dagga
Tygerberg – Parow
Salt River – Observatory Cape Town
‘We have noted an increase in robberies, both at stations and on trains. The teams will address this as a matter of urgency to ensure that we nip it in the bud. I am encouraged that arrests have already been made and goods recovered,’ said Metrorail Western Cape Regional Manager, Richard Walker.
‘The City is well aware of residents’ frustration with traffic congestion and the impact it has on our economy. We’ve taken action in November 2015 already, when we committed to spending R750 million on road infrastructure projects over a period of five years. However, this alone will not solve the challenge. We need our passenger rail service to function efficiently so that we have fewer people relying on road-based transport. Our investment in the Rail Enforcement Unit which is focusing on the safety and security of commuters and the rail infrastructure is a serious commitment to improve the urban rail service in the short term. I’m heartened to say that the REU is making steady progress, together with the efforts from the PRASA Protection Services and SAPS Rapid Rail Response Unit,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Alderman Felicity Purchase.
‘The REU’s stop-and-searches conducted at various hotspots have yielded positive results and the recovery of property and various weapons used to commit crimes. Their presence in these communities has been impactful, and will go a long way towards restoring commuter confidence in the system. The strides being made in improving safety and security within the rail network have increased optimism, and have made the problems experienced seemingly more surmountable,’ said Donald Grant, Western Cape Minister of Transport and Public Works and Chairperson of the Rail Management Task Team.
The public can assist the REU by reporting crime and vandalism, as this forms part of the intelligence that drives deployment and operations.
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