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The Rail Enforcement Unit (REU) inspected 155 hot spot areas and scrapyards last week and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s multi-disciplinary teams patrolled 927 trains.
Nine suspects were arrested for stolen goods by PRASA Protection Services and private security contractors last week and 15 confiscations of items such as hacksaws, drugs, cabling and various tools were made. Furthermore, the teams patrolled 927 trains, conducted 1 137 searches, attended 30 court cases, dismantled 19 structures and removed 34 indigent people from rail reserves.
Fines to the value of R21 100 were issued by the REU. Furthermore, 23 stop-and-search operations were conducted last week.
Suspects arrested for being in possession of stolen property and drugs
Dangerous Weapon Act, 1968 (Act 71 of 1968) Possession of a dangerous weapon - Goodwood - SAP 13 # 799/2019; SAP14: 89/04/2019; SAPS OB # :1298 /04/2019; SAP 14 A.R 5767751
Imitation firearm - Kleinvlei - SAP13 668/2019; SAP14 (a) 150/04
Possession of presumable stolen property - Goodwood - 186/04/2019
Woodstock and Salt River
‘We are encouraged by the arrests we are making on a weekly basis which demonstrates that the efforts that we’ve put in place to address the issue of cable theft and vandalism is paying off. The collaboration between ourselves, REU, NPA, SAPS, is proving to be very effective and we are charging people that are being arrested in terms of the Criminal Matters Amendment Act. We welcome the two convictions we had in court this week, which had effectively given a 12 years jail sentences to the two convicted felons. However, we are becoming alarmed, that whilst we are making arrests, we continue to see an attack on the system on a daily basis. Every time we make an arrest on a perpetrator, there is an available substitute to take their place almost immediately. We now see the importance of having to get to the source of the problem, which squarely sits at the feet of the scrap dealers as well as the bucket shops within communities. Therefore we have to lobby to review the current legislation which will allow us that if scrap dealers are trading illegally and not following the prescripts of the law in terms of the Second-Hand Goods Act, that their assets can be confiscated, their business can be closed down, as well as owners be arrested and be brought in front of a court,’ said Metrorail Western Cape Regional Manager, Richard Walker.
‘We are pleased each week to see that the REU is able to make the necessary arrests, attend to the various complaints and most importantly to deter crime with their strong presence on the trains. Creating a safer travelling experience for the thousands of commuters who rely on this service daily remains a priority for the City. We are committed to restoring confidence in the urban rail service,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Alderman Felicity Purchase.
‘The REU is making significant strides in zeroing in on criminal activity within the rail network and continues to make use of data and intelligence in carrying out its operations and in apprehending criminals. In all enforcement activities, authorities rely heavily on the criminal justice system to effectively prosecute, convict and sentence criminals that have targeted the rail network and threatened the provision of safe and reliable passenger rail transportation for commuters. If we continue to working together in this way, it is clear that these criminals must not, and will not, succeed in their criminal endeavours and will face the full might of the law. I am encouraged by the progress that the REU continues to make on a daily basis and thank them for their continued dedication,’ said the Western Cape Minister of Transport and Public Works and Chairperson of the Rail Management Task Team, Donald Grant.
The public can assist the REU by reporting incidents of crime and vandalism, as this forms part of the intelligence that drives deployment and operations.
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