C­ri­me fig­h­ters put to the test

Knysna-Plett Herald - - Misdaad | Crime - Yo­lan­dé S­tan­der

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.”

P­ho­tos:Yo­lan­de S­tan­der

Blackie and his hand­ler Ot­to O­li­vier.

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