Crime fighters put to the test
Plettenberg Bay crime fighters are becoming more hi-tech by the day and boast a bag of tricks that include anything from a drone to a support dog.
Members of the Plettenberg Bay Crime Prevention Association (PBCPA) put their skills and resources to the test last week during a crime simulation involving tracking down a stolen vehicle and the perpetrators responsible for the crime.
PBCPA operations head Otto Olivier said they did the simulation – which involved several member security companies – to ensure they were ready for any situation.
“We do these exercises to ensure we all work together smoothly. It is also to teach members how to react in certain situations, not only to successfully apprehend suspects but to ensure their safety while doing so,” Olivier said.
It also gives members an opportunity to work with the PBCPA’s latest recruit, Blackie the German shepherd, he added.
On 4 March they simulated a situation where a vehicle had been stolen from a residential complex.
“We worked together to track the vehicle down, block it in and take the suspects down.”
During the exercise the “suspects” jumped out of the vehicle after being boxed in by the crime fighters and disappeared into nearby bushes.
One of the suspects was tracked down by Blackie and arrested, while they had to dig into their bag of tricks to find the other. They utilised a drone to search the area and managed to track down the second suspect and members were sent in to arrest him.
On Saturday 10 March they conducted another simulation, this time in Wittedrift on the outskirts of Plettenberg Bay.
“We simulated a situation where three suspects broke into the local church.” This time Blackie followed the trail of the suspects and tracked down two of them. The drone was yet again used to search the area for the third suspect. This was successful and the suspect arrested.
Olivier said it is wonderful to see the well-oiled machine working so efficiently. He added that these simulations also serve as a training exercise for those without a background in dealing with crime.
He said they were in the process of putting together a tactical team that can, at the drop of a hat, respond in an emergency. “All these guys will have undergone the necessary training to successfully and safely deal with situations.”
Blackie and his handler Otto Olivier.