The Rail Enforcement Unit (REU) made two arrests and conducted 751 stop-and-searches last week. This is in addition to the four suspects arrested by the PRASA Protection Services, SAPS Rapid Rail Response Unit and private security contractors, the City of Cape Town said in a statement.
The City said two successful prosecutions were recorded last week. In the first case, a convicted thief was imprisoned for 12 months and received a five-year suspended sentence. In the second case, the offender was imprisoned for three years.
The REU arrested two suspects for possession of suspected stolen property and malicious damage to property in Ravensmead and Bishop Lavis. About 751 stop-and-searches were also conducted, and fines to the value of R92 300 were issued.
The City said PRASA Protection Services remove vagrants within the rail operating precincts on a rotational basis every week. About 61 vagrants were removed and 29 structures dismantled between Salt River and Observatory last week.
|MPS, RRPU & PRIVATE SECURITY CONTRACTOR ACTIONS||Number||Detail||*REU ACTIONS||Number||Detail|
|Arrests||6||Malicious damage to property, possession of stolen property||Arrests||2||Attempted theft, malicious damage to property, possession of stolen property|
|Trains patrolled||751||Focus on area central||Autonomous operations||10|
|Confiscations||34||Knives, scissors & various tools used for cable theft||Confiscations||3||Hacksaw
|Searches||341||For weapons & illegal substances||Impoundments:
|Legal Succession Act Schedule B (warnings/fines)||49||Keeping train doors open in transit, no valid ticket, travellling between carriages||Fines – Traffic by-law, general||25||R92 300|
|Vagrants removed||61||Salt River – Observatory||Inspections of hotspot areas and scrapyards||70|
|Structures dismantled and removed||29||Salt River – Observatory||Section 56 notices To appear in court||20|
|Joint operations||3||SAPS Rapid Rail Response Unit & security contractors||Section 341 notices (fines)||10|
|Campaigns (safety, level crossing)||1||Koelenhof level crossing||Stop-and-search actions||751|
|Court appearances and/or convictions||37||Bellville, Langa & Khayelitsha – 2 sentences:
§ 1 x 12 months direct imprisonment with 5-year suspended sentence;
§ 1 x 3 years direct imprisonment
|PRASA Protection Services is tasked to ensure Legal Succession Act compliance, crime prevention and commuter safety.||* The Rail Enforcement Unit (REU) is a special security initiative funded by PRASA, the City of Cape Town and PGWC Department of Transport & Public Works) to focus on bylaw compliance, metal theft prevention and to support SAPS Railway Police in the protection of commuters. Its 100 law enforcement officers are trained as Peace Officers with traffic warden and street survival skills and firearm competency and also focus on bylaw compliance. The Unit’s performance is reflected separately to monitor performance and assess feasibility.||12|
“Aspirant cable thieves and vandals should take note of our regular arrests and successful convictions as well as the suspended sentences imposed. Theft and vandalism in the rail environment are becoming increasingly less attractive options. Every success is incentive for our teams to do more, better,” said Metrorail Western Cape Regional Manager, Richard Walker.
“We cannot overstate the importance of PRASA’s refurbishment programme and our investment in the Rail Enforcement Unit which is focusing on the safety and security of commuters and the rail infrastructure. On Thursday and Friday the past week we presented the Far South Transport Plan to residents so that they can comment on our short- to long-term interventions to alleviate traffic congestion in the Far South.
“According to our assessments, there would be 2 300 fewer private vehicles on the main access routes in the peak-hour periods in the Far South if the passenger numbers could be doubled on the Southern rail line.
“We need to work even harder so that commuters can return to passenger rail in numbers. Rail remains the most efficient and affordable form of public transport. If we can get it right it will go a long way in taking vehicles off our road network,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Alderman Felicity Purchase.
“As more criminal hotspots are being targeted and criminals apprehended, it is becoming harder and harder for crime to thrive within the rail network. Our collective efforts, through the Rail Enforcement Unit and other Metrorail security efforts, are making a noticeable difference in restoring law and order in the network, and ridding it of crime.
“Our approach is guided by strategy and information from previous operations, as well as the assistance from the general public. We must work together in addressing this very pressing matter.
“There is still a lot of work to do, but we are confident that the work already being done is a step in the right direction,” added Donald Grant, 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.
Illicit and suspicious activity may be reported to any number listed below:
Metrorail Protection Services hot-line 021 449 4336/5056
RRPU Cape Town (platform 1) 021 443 4325
RRPU Bellville021 941 6800
RRPU Philippi/Stock Road 021 370 1011
RRPU Retreat 021 710 5129
RRPU Radio Control/OPS room 021 449 4309/10
SAPS Crime Stop 0860 10111
Crime line SMS 32211
City of Cape Town Metals Theft Unit 0800 222 2771
Rewards of up to R25 000 are payable for information leading to successful conviction.
(Press Release by the City of Cape Town)