2007-11-23 : Public urged to check cop credentials

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2007-11-23 : Public urged to check cop credentials

Postby GOSA » Tue, 2007-12-11 07:32

Public urged to check cop credentials
23 November 2007, 11:17

By Natasha Joseph


In the wake of two incidents involving criminals posing as police
officers, police are encouraging Capetonians to check the
credentials of anyone claiming to be a SA Police Service (SAPS)
member.


On Monday night, a family of four was robbed at their Strand home
by a gang that included two men dressed in what appeared to be
police uniforms. One of the intruders had a fake police docket.


Earlier this month, three women were abducted by a man who
identified himself as a police officer and ordered the women to
get into his car, which had a blue light. Two of the women were
later drugged and raped.


Police spokesperson Billy Jones said the use of police uniforms,
or uniforms that looked similar to the standard issue blue police
uniforms, was "not a new method" used by criminals. SAPS uniforms
could not be bought over the counter, said Jones, but blue
uniforms without the SAPS insignia could be purchased at some
places.


He said some security guards wore blue uniforms that were "to a
great extent" similar to police gear.


Police officers received their uniforms from the SAPS, and all
uniform pieces, insignia and any equipment issued to officers was
recorded on a personal equipment sheet, said Jones.


He acknowledged that incidents involving fake police officers
raised "alarming questions" about the authenticity of people
identifying themselves as police.


On August 28, suspects in a Khayelitsha double murder verbally
identified themselves as police officers and were allegedly
wearing a "blue uniform similar to that of the police", Jones
said.


He said all SAPS members must be "in immediate possession" of
their appointment certificates, and that members of the public
could ask police officers to produce this certificate.


People could also call the relevant police station - or 10111 -
and find out whether an officer at their door was stationed there
and had been sent to their address.


* This article was originally published on page 4 of The Cape Times on November 23, 2007
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