A convicted cable thief received a 12-year sentence suspended for six years after pleading guilty last week. According to a joint press statement by the City of Cape Town, Metrorail, and the Western Cape Government, Cape Town’s Rail Enforcement Unit (REU) inspected 66 hot spot areas and scrapyards last week, while PRASA officials attended to 27 court cases across the city to see that suspects are brought to book.
All other suspects who appeared in court were denied bail and will remain in custody until their next appearance. The PRASA Protection Services also dismantled 12 illegal structures and removed 29 street people from PRASA premises.
The REU conducted another six operations and 28 stop-and-searches last week, and attended to an extra 17 calls for assistance. One person was arrested in Diep River for the possession of the suspected stolen property and a fine to the value of R2000 was issued.
‘The majority of suspects pleaded guilty as a result of the solid evidence provided by PRASA investigators. The arrests and convictions contribute to the improved predictability of the train service and the reduction of crime on trains and at stations,’ said Metrorail Western Cape Regional Manager, Richard Walker.
‘The statistics bear testimony to the work that the REU has done in its short lifespan and on a limited area of the rail network. I believe the case has been made for this to graduate from a pilot project to a permanent and growing presence on Cape Town’s trains and at railway stations. Commuters have a right to travel safely and reliably, be it on the rail network or on the roads, and we are committed to doing everything possible to make that a reality,’ said the City’s Mayco member for safety and security, Alderman JP Smith.
‘The REU has made an effort to be increasingly visible to commuters who have indicated their gratitude for the additional officers that have made a difference. REU officers have been hard at work apprehending criminals and responding to calls where crime is suspected to have occurred. We remain encouraged by the arrests as this is an indicator that the strategies are working. As the REU continue to make more and more arrests, we hope to see incidents of criminal activity decrease. I am encouraged by the progress that the REU continues to make on a daily basis and thank them for their continued dedication,’ added the Western Cape Minister of Transport and Public Works and Chairperson of the Rail Management Task Team, Donald Grant. (City of Cape Town)