Saturday, July 20, 2024

FIRST WITH SECURITY NEWS

New K9 recruits to bolster Cape Town’s crime-fighting efforts

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The City of Cape Town’s Metro Police K9 unit, a cornerstone in the city’s law enforcement arsenal since its inception in 2009 ahead of the FIFA World Cup, has welcomed four new recruits.

Currently, the unit boasts a dozen active K9s trained in detecting narcotics, explosives, and trailing dogs used in the search for missing persons. The new recruits are undergoing rigorous basic training and bonding with their handlers. Among them are Tina, a two-year-old German Shepherd; Gizmo and Djenko, both 14-month-old Belgian Malinois; and Magnum, a 16-month-old Malinois/German Shepherd cross.

“It really is something to watch our K9s in action. They have added so much value to our fight against crime, and the drug trade in particular, over the past 15 years, and I look forward to seeing how the new recruits acquit themselves. They have big paws to fill, when you consider the likes of Savage, Troy and Xena, who were just a few of the legendary K9s in our kennels over the years.”

“But apart from their crime-fighting abilities, these dogs are among the best brand ambassadors that one can find, and building relationships between the enforcement services, and communities,’ said Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.

In the ongoing efforts to stem the narcotics trade, Metro Police has reported a significant uptick in drug seizures for the financial year spanning July 2023 to March 2024. There were more than 9000 drug-related arrests and over 69000 units of drugs confiscated in the 2023/2024 period.

Mandrax, tik, dagga, and heroin remain among the most commonly confiscated narcotics.

“These successes are largely thanks to routine visible patrols, tips from the public and of course our intrepid K9s who help expose the very creative hiding places of drug dealers. But, while the numbers are impressive, the city’s role in cutting down to size the drug trade remains limited.”

“All arrests and confiscations are handed over to South African Police Service (SAPS) for investigation and prosecution. The city doesn’t have the powers to go after the big fish, and dismantle drug routes. We are hopeful that SAPS will be properly resourced to deal with this scourge, and will continue to support them in any way possible,” said Smith.

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