P­lett up in arms

Knysna-Plett Herald - - Voorblad - Yo­lan­dé S­tan­der

P­let­ten­berg Bay c­ri­mi­nals ha­ve a­not­her re­a­son to be shaking in their boots – a R1.4mil­li­on, four-w­heeled, bul­let­p­roof re­a­son.

A lo­cal bu­si­nes­sman, who wan­ted to re­main a­no­ny­mous, do­na­ted a R1.4-mil­li­on ar­mou­red vehi­cle to the P­let­ten­berg Bay C­ri­me P­re­ven­ti­on As­so­ci­a­ti­on (PBCPA) – which con­sis­ts of lo­cal po­li­ce, Bi­tou mu­ni­ci­pal law en­for­ce­ment, pri­va­te se­cu­ri­ty com­pa­nies and ot­her or­ga­ni­sa­ti­ons – to as­sist in their c­ri­me p­re­ven­ti­on ef­forts.

The vehi­cle, a 2.4L Volks­wa­gen Ca­ra­vel­le 4Mo­ti­on, is com­ple­te­ly bul­let­p­roof and fit­ted with s­ta­te-of-the-art e­quip­ment in­clu­ding ther­mal ca­me­ras and two-way ra­di­os.

PBCPA chair Bru­ce Ri­chard­son said the PBCPA had been dis­cus­sing obtai­ning a de­di­ca­ted re­spon­se vehi­cle for their re­cent­ly es­ta­blis­hed trai­ned re­spon­se te­am.

“Du­ring se­ri­ous in­ci­dents, in­clu­ding farm at­tacks and ri­ots, the po­li­ce pu­blic or­der squads are de­ploy­ed. T­his highly trai­ned spe­ci­a­li­sed te­am is sta­ti­o­ned in Ge­or­ge and it ta­kes them an hour or mo­re to get to P­lett,” Ri­chard­son said.

He ad­ded that a farm at­tack in Wit­te­drift last y­e­ar high­lig­h­ted the need for a lo­cal, trai­ned re­spon­se te­am, and du­ring the re­cent ri­ots, the re­spon­se te­am play­ed an in­stru­men­tal ro­le in de­a­ling with cri­mi­nal acti­vi­ty as a re­sult of the acti­on. “Vo­lun­teers ha­ve been u­sing their own pri­va­te vehi­cles w­hen they re­spond and as­sist at an e­nor­mous cost to them­sel­ves. We we­re all e­la­ted w­hen P­lett Se­cu­ri­ty bro­ke the news that they ha­ve re­cei­ved an ar­mou­red vehi­cle from an a­no­ny­mous do­nor for the spe­ci­fic use of the P­lett ra­pid re­spon­se u­nit.”

PBCPA o­pe­ra­ti­ons he­ad Ot­to O­li­vier said ne­ver in his wil­dest dre­ams had he i­ma­gi­ned the do­na­ti­on would in­vol­ve a ful­ly kit­ted out ar­mou­red vehi­cle. “Out of the blue so­meo­ne con­tacted me, com­menting on the good work we ha­ve been doing. He in­di­ca­ted that he wan­ted to do­na­te a vehi­cle to help us in our ef­forts.”

Ri­chard­son said with the re­la­ti­ve­ly low c­ri­me le­vels in P­let­ten­berg Bay one would be “temp­ted to think that the ex­is­ten­ce of a trai­ned re­spon­se te­am and an ar­mou­red vehi­cle is o­ver­kill”. “But in the fig­ht a­gainst c­ri­me, one con­stant­ly needs to be a­he­ad in the ga­me. It is fol­ly to sim­ply re­spond to the la­test cri­mi­nal acti­vi­ties. We as the PBCPA is set on being a­he­ad in the ga­me and suit­a­bly e­quip­ped to re­spond to any c­ri­me w­het­her we ha­ve his­to­ri­cal re­cords of tho­se cri­mes or not,” he said.

The vehi­cle’s main­te­nan­ce and in­su­ran­ce cos­ts will be car­ried by PBCPA mem­ber P­lett Se­cu­ri­ty.

P­ho­to: Sup­p­lied

PBCPA mem­bers ad­mi­re their span­king new c­ri­me-fig­hting ap­pa­ra­tus.

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