Cops honoured for fighting vehicle crime
THE South African Police Service members and units who have made outstanding contributions in the fight against crime were honoured yesterday at an awards ceremony in the city.
In its 18th year, the Tracker SAPS Awards ceremony honours law enforcement officers and units whose efforts, in the use of Tracker systems, have made a significant impact on the recovery of stolen and hijacked vehicles in the country.
The ceremony was held at Diep in Die Berg Conference Centre in Pretoria.
In attendance were Gauteng Community MEC Sizakele NkosiMalobane, acting SAPS national commissioner Lieutenant-General Lesetja Mothiba, Tracker’s executive for operational services Ron Knott-Craig and many other dignitaries.
Delivering the keynote address, Mothiba began by acknowledging and commending the police’s relationship with Tracker, which has been in existence for 21 years.
“On behalf of the SAPS we would like to congratulate Tracker on their 21 years. The partnership has grown from strength to strength over the last 21 years and the sky is the limit when it comes to the partnership,” he said.
Mothiba was representing the Police Minister Fikile Mbalula who could not attend owing to other commitments.
He reflected on his years when he was appointed crime prevention head in 1996 and how Tracker devices had helped to recover stolen vehicles.
“I still remember Tracker installing two of their devices in our vehicles and later they added another two devices.
“By the time I left, the Alexandra crime prevention unit was recovering more vehicles than any other unit in Gauteng.”
The acting commissioner also used his time to highlight the important role the SAPS was playing in the country.
Knott-Craig highlighted the importance of the reward and Tracker’s partnership with the SAPS.
“The deepest and often most unfulfilled need is our need to be appreciated, to receive recognition for the value that we add,” said Knott-Craig.
“We deeply appreciate you and the work that you do to make South Africa a safer place for all its people.”
Finalists were chosen from a group of more than 90 individual nominees and 40 units nationally.
Major-General CT Sithole, of the KwaMhlanga cluster, received the overall Tracker/SAPS National Unit Award. Sergeant Shaun Dicks, of the Port Elizabeth K-9 Unit, received the Tracker/SAPS National Individual Award.
Dicks tracked 18 stolen or hijacked vehicles, recovered an additional 32 stolen vehicles and made 98 arrests this year alone.
From left, Tracker’s executive for operational services Ron Knott-Craig, Gauteng Community MEC Sizakele NkosiMalobane, award recipient Sergeant Shaun Dicks and acting national commissioner of the SAPS Lieutenant-General Lesetja Mothiba during the National Tracker/SAPS Awards ceremony at the Diep in Die Berg Conference Centre in Pretoria yesterday.