2007-02-13 : Share a gun, traffic cops told

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2007-02-13 : Share a gun, traffic cops told

Postby GOSA » Fri, 2007-02-23 17:10

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=181&art_id=vn20070213111305641C450247

Share a gun, traffic cops told

February 13 2007 at 04:55PM

By Dianne Hawker

Western Cape traffic officers who have had their firearms withdrawn until they complete a refresher course have been told to buddy up with armed officers to feel safe.

This was according to community safety department spokesperson Makhaya Mani, who said "about half" of the 90 traffic officers were now armed after completing the course.

"They have been grouped and encouraged to work alongside those officers who have completed the training until the process is completed."

Earlier this year, firearms were removed from provincial traffic officers. In accordance with the Firearms Control Acts, they had to undergo a refresher course on how to look after and use their issued service pistols.

Last week, the Cape Argus reported that traffic officers were asking for their firearms back after two officers were threatened near Khayelitsha at the weekend.

They had been called to an accident scene on Mew Way and were the only law enforcement officers there after the police left.

Two men, travelling with a woman driver of a vehicle involved in the accident, threatened the officers when they realised that they were unarmed.

The officers eventually fled the accident scene when the two men were joined by another group of men.

Mani denied last week that the incident had taken place.

The traffic officers who had spoken to the Cape Argus about the incident said officers were shocked by the denial of the incident, "because it was reported to the N2 satellite station and the control room".

One traffic officer said he was "fed up" and scared to patrol without a firearm.

The Cape Argus contacted provincial traffic chief Pat Curran, who was able to confirm that the incident had been reported at the N2 satellite patrol station at about 10pm on February 3.

Asked to comment on this, Mani said he was not aware of an incident having been reported.

He said initial inquiries had shown that there was no such incident.

Mani reiterated that the training process was nearing completion, but could not provide a final date.

He once again encouraged traffic officers with queries to contact his office.

# This article was originally published on page 4 of Cape Argus on February 13, 2007
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