Enforcement actions making an impact on rail safety
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. Read more below:
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.
|Metrorail Protection Services and Private security contractor actions||Number||Detail||*REU actions||Number||Detail|
|Arrests||13||Suspects arrested for damage to essential infrastructure; possession of drugs; attempted cable theft; possession of possible stolen goods; possession of stolen property and trespassing||Arrests||0|
|Trains patrolled||983||Regional schedule with special focus on the northern line (Monte Vista)||Autonomous operations||6|
|Confiscations||29||Knives, scissors and tools||Confiscations||0|
|Searches||1 427||Regional schedule of designated trains and stations||
|Legal Succession Act Schedule B (warnings/fines)||47||Holding train doors open, entering or exiting a moving train, crossing railway lines illegally at stations and in section and standing in between coaches while train is in motion||Fines in terms of the Traffic By-law, general||3||R3 000|
|Street people removed||23||Section: Bellville to Parow||Inspections of hotspot areas and scrap yards||75|
|Structures dismantled and removed||17||Section Bellville to Parow||Section 56 notices to appear in court||3|
|Joint operations||1||With City law enforcement||Section 341 notices (fines)||113||R97 300|
|Campaigns (safety, level crossing)||1||Bellville with SAPS RRPU||Stop-and-search actions||206|
|Court appearances and/or convictions||42||Bail successfully opposed in all cases; suspects awaiting trial in custody||Complaints attended to||2|
About PRASA Protection Services:It 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 and Public Works to focus on by-law 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. It also focuses on by-law compliance. The Unit’s performance is reflected separately to monitor performance and assess feasibility.|
‘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.
|Metrorail Protection Services hot-line||021 449 4336/5056|
|RRPU Cape Town (platform 1)||021 443 4325|
|RRPU Bellville||021 941 6800|
|RRPU Philippi/Stock Road||021 370 1011|
021 710 5129
|RRPU Radio Control/OPS room||021 449 4309/10|
|SAPS Crime Stop||0860 10111|
|City of Cape Town Metals Theft Unit||0800 222 2771|
Alderman Felicity Purchase
the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport
Tel: 021 400 7197 or Cell: 083 629 0829
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (please always copy email@example.com)
Riana Scott, Spokesperson: Metrorail Western Cape
Tel: 021 4496181 or Cell: 083 284 3508
Siphesihle Dube, Spokesperson for the Western Cape Minister of Transport and Public Works
Tel: 021 483 8954 or Cell: 084 233 3811