Overstrand and Swartland K-9 Units proving to be crime busters
The Overstrand and Swartland K-9 Units are continuing to prove their worth as crime busters along both coastal areas.
On Wednesday, 14 December 2022, the Swartland K-9 Unit assisted the South African Police Services’ (SAPS) West Coast Rural Flying Squad on the R27 outside Langebaan when officers stopped a vehicle that was suspected to be transporting illegal narcotics.
Upon searching the vehicle, the K-9’s sharp sense of smell led officers to the discovery of four thousand mandrax tablets, which has an estimated street value of R160 000. These were confiscated, and three suspects were arrested for dealing in drugs.
On 14 December 2022 the Overstrand K-9 Unit in a joint operation with the Coastal Unit, received a complaint about vessels launching and fishing illegally in the Hermanus area. Officers were deployed, and while patrolling, glowing objects were noticed in the water. Upon closer inspection, the officers discovered West Coast Rock Lobster (WCRL) which was in their possession without a permit. This led to the arrest of three suspects and the confiscation of:
- 412 WCRL, with an estimated value of R 206 000.00;
- 16 WCRL Tails, with an estimated value of R 5 120.00;
- 6 ring nets with an estimated value of R 3 000.00 and
- 1 vessel (boat), with an estimated value of R 70 000.00
The confscated items have an estimated value of R 284 100.00
On 15 December 2022, this K-9 Unit assisted various law enforcement agencies, SAPS and private security in the Stanford area to apprehend three suspects after they broke into the home of an elderly woman. The woman who is in her eighties suffered severe injuries and is being treated in hospital. Two suspects are facing charges of housebreaking and attempted murder, while the third is facing a charge of possession of stolen goods, after he was found with the stolen items in his possession.
In addition to this, on Saturday, 17 December 2022, this unit also assisted in ensuring that a 39-year-old suspect could be arrested in Zwelihle, Hermanus, for the:
- illegal possession of 27 transparent bags with compressed dagga and
- dealing in drugs.
Officers also confiscated R 440.00 in cash.
Minister Reagen Allen said: “Criminals along our coastal lines should be aware that we are present, and that we are relentless in our efforts to rid our communities of illegal activities. Our K-9 Units, in partnership with all relevant stakeholders, which amongst others includes the other law enforcement agencies, SAPS, private security, neighbourhood watches, community police forums and farm watches are proving to be impactful against crime. We are fully aware that we have a long way to go, but these continued interruptions are critical, as our aim is to make the lives of all criminals very uncomfortable. We will monitor the work of the national judicial system to ensure that the work of our law enforcement authorities is followed through to successful prosecution.”
The K9 Unit’s main objective is to serve as a crime fighting force multiplier to SAPS and other role-players. The unit does this through the detection and searching for contraband, particularly illegal drugs, firearms, ammunition. The unit also provides assistance to the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environmental Affairs to curb the illegal trade of abalone, crayfish and other marine products.
“Although many people might be on holiday and taking a well-deserved break, our officers and man’s best friend will continue to be visible, as they know how important their presence is across the province. We have to persevere in our fight against these criminal elements, as this will help establish safer environments which leads to safer roads, coastlines and communities,” concluded Minister Reagen Allen.