Railway stations to get more police coaches

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Johannesburg - In a bid to stamp out criminal activities at railway stations, government has committed to rolling out more police mobile coaches.

Since the introduction of the system in the Western Cape two years ago, crime at railway stations has dropped by 8 percent in the province.

The idea of a police mobile coach was conceived out of the need to fight crime at railway stations. The aim of the coaches was to facilitate the arrest and charging of criminals on board, instead of waiting for the train to reach the next station on long-distance routes.

Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa said on Tuesday that more than 2 400 police officers were currently deployed at South Africa's major railway stations.

He was addressing an estimated 1000 people who turned up for the launch of the National Transport Month at Johannesburg's Park Station.

"We want to create an environment where our commuters travel without fear or hindrance," said Mthethwa, as he explained the importance of safety in public transport.

More than 55 percent of South Africans rely on public transport while over two million use trains.

Mthethwa said in addition to mobile coaches, the police ministry would ensure that mobile police stations, introduced a few years ago, will become more visible at most of the country's transport facilities.