Although Metrorail is infamous for its delays, it has now shown commuters that it is serious about its current crackdown on criminals who have targeted the rail company’s infrastructure.
Speaking to News24, Western Cape Metrorail manager, Richard Walker, said that the additional security measures and forensic capabilities implemented at stations since March has shown a positive impact on the overall security at these stations.
More than 100 people have been taken into custody since March, and are awaiting trail for rail-related crimes.
The multi-functionality security used by the rail entity since March has reduced incidences of vandalism and cable theft. These teams are made up of Metrorail Protection Services officers, Rapid Rail Response Units and sourced security and forensic specialists.
Western Cape police officers and law enforcement officers may also be used, but usually these services are only called when a specific incident occurs.
Walker also added that tip-offs have also had a significant role to play in the arrest of rail criminals.
A reward of R25 000 will be awarded to anyone who provides information on rail-related crimes that leads to the successful conviction of a perpetrator.
Two weeks ago, police apprehended two suspects who had allegedly harassed commuters in the vicinity of the Somerset West railway line.
A dedicated enforcement unit will soon be introduced to keep both commuters and infrastructure safe. The memorandum for this agreement was signed by the City of Cape Town, Prasa and the Western Cape government in May, and will be funded by the Transport Development Agency.
“The unit will consist of at least a hundred members and will focus on commuter safety as well as vandalism and the theft of crucial Metrorail infrastructure and assets,” Mayco member for Transport, Brett Herron, said in May. “The unit’s members will rely on technology and crime intelligence, and will support the South African Police Service to identify those who are involved in the illicit metals theft industry.”