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The Rail Enforcement Unit (REU) conducted 206 stop-and-searches and inspected 75 hotspots and scrap yards this past week. The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s efforts focused on court appearances to oppose bail applications and train patrols.
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) Protection Services and private security contractors arrested 13 suspects 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. A total of 42 court cases were attended to and bail applications were successfully opposed, meaning all suspects remain in custody while awaiting trial.
In response to public complaints and operational risk, 17 structures on PRASA property were dismantled and removed in the section between Bellville and Parow and 31 occupants were removed. The teams also patrolled 938 trains and conducted 1 427 searches of individuals.
Fines to the value of R100 300 were issued by the REU over the past week. Furthermore, 206 stop-and-searches were conducted and 75 hotspots and scrap yards were inspected.
Suspects arrested for damage to essential infrastructure; possession of drugs; attempted cable theft; possession of possible stolen goods; possession of stolen property and trespassing
Section: Bellville to Parow
‘We have noted that criminals tend to move to other areas when enforcement closes in on their territory. The reports of a spike in incidents in the north is concerning and the teams will therefore continue to focus on the northern line to ensure that we rid the trains and stations of thugs. We encourage commuters to report all incidents to the SAPS and Metrorail, the information forms part of the crime pattern analysis to ensure security resources are used optimally,’ said Metrorail Western Cape Regional Manager, Richard Walker.
‘The safety and security of rail commuters is a top priority. We must ensure that commuters are and feel safe when they enter the rail system, be it in the station, on the platform, or in the train. The REU is making steady progress, and I’m eager to see more commuters making use of the trains as the service stabilises over time. I also want to appeal to residents to please report suspicious activities and to work with us. The urban rail service is an invaluable asset for all who live and work in Cape Town. The City is determined and committed to establishing an integrated and efficient public transport system across all modes. The urban rail service is a vital component of our transport network and we want to see it restored to full capacity,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Alderman Felicity Purchase.
‘It is undeniable that more and more commuters have been forced onto road-based public transport as a direct result of the state of our rail system. It is imperative that the system is improved and that people move back to rail as their mode of public transport so as to alleviate congestion and the pressure experienced on our road network. Addressing safety, as is the task of the REU has become key to restoring confidence in the rail network. As the REU’s work continues to make the rail network safer for commuters, we hope they will be encouraged to make use of what remains the most affordable mode of public transport in the metro area,’ said the Western Cape Minister of Transport and Public Works and Chairperson of the Rail Management Task Team, Donald Grant.
Members of 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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