Action-packed SAPS exercise shows-off crime busting tactics

Friday, October 2, 2009

Thabazimbi - It was all action and drama at the Bravo Camp as members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) displayed their crime fighting tactics during a thrilling simulation exercise.

The exhilarating simulation exercises put on display by the members of the Special Task Force, the newly established Tactical Response Team and the National Intervention Force gave police a chance to show off their skills and technique to Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa, his deputy Fikile Mbalula and Police National Commissioner Bheki Cele.

Tactics and techniques on how they would put the moves on armed robbers to hostage takers and terrorists were all part of the high drama.

In one exercise, heavily armed criminals tried to flee the scene, but no sooner had the thought emerged when they stopped in their tracks thanks to an armed response team, with one arrested and another fatally wounded, all in the space of ten minutes.

Armed criminals were then chased as they fled their vehicle, into a building, where a shootout ensued as members of the Special Task Force intervened - but the criminals refused to surrender.

It was time to call in the members of the National Intervention Unit. Fully armed and protected they arrived on the scene by helicopter, as well as parachutes, to assist the officers on the ground.

Live ammunition lit up the sky while the SAPS units apprehended the criminals who surrendered after one was shot dead on the scene.

As if onlookers were not convinced already by their skill, a terrorism situation was therafter played out - which saw members of the Special Task Force, together with the Intervention Unit, cracking down on the terrorists by firing live missiles.

While the drama unfolded, on the other side of the field, the Department of Police's Senior Supt Tummi Golding, Constable Jacqueline Jason and Pretoria News's reporter Greame Hosken were taken hostage by five criminals.

Within minutes, members of the Response Team and the Special Task Force arrived on the scene to free the three victims.

After a gun battle ensued, all suspects were shot and arrested within 15 minutes after refusing to cooperate.

Task force commander, Senior Supt Tebogo Maduna told BuaNews that their members were well trained to overcome hostage takers, adding that if the criminals refused to negotiate they were forced to use lethal force, only if they were fired at.

Mthethwa, Cele and Mbalula looked clearly blown away by the end of the morning's drama.