Police shouldn’t be trigger happy, says Cele
NATIONAL Police Commissioner Bheki Cele yesterday told police graduates they had the right to return fire if shot at by criminals but should not become “trigger happy”.
“Don’t be trigger happy, assess the situation properly. We must avoid the Mabopane incident,” said Cele during a parade of Tactical Team trainees at the Pretoria SAPS college.
He was referring to an incident in October in which a 28year-old woman was killed when police fired shots at a grey Toyota Conquest she was travelling in.
Police had mistaken the car for a stolen vehicle which they had tracked to a nearby filling station, according to the Independent Complaints Directorate. Two more people, a 31year-old woman and a 28-year-old man, were injured in the incident while the driver escaped unscathed.
Cele reiterated a statement he made when announcing appointments of two new provincial commissioners in Pretoria on Thursday, saying the new recruits should shoot at criminals who shoot at them.
The two Tactical Response Teams for Durban and Johannesburg were Cele’s brainchild and are aimed at meeting the medium-to high-security risk needs of stations and policing clusters.
They consist of a minimum of 50 members per cluster.
Cele said he was proud of the graduates and warned them against being corrupted by criminals.
He said criminals should be the ones living in fear. “We are sick and tired of criminals,” Cele said. He told them to use a language that criminals understood when they had to.
“It’s either they will hear better or never hear again. Squeeze the space for thugs very, very hard,” Cele said. – Sapa
SALUTE: Bheki Cele, during a at of tactical team trainees.
IN ACTION: The Tactical Response Teams which graduated at the SAPS Training College in Pretoria West show their moves.