Special Force teams to support local police stations

Friday, October 2, 2009

Thabazimbi - The South African Police Service is to deploy Special Task Force and Tactical Response Team members to give operational and tactical support to local police stations across the country.

Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa said the deployment of these units to residential and business areas will be piloted in Pretoria and is hoped would see a significant drop in the level of crime.

Mthethwa had expressed great concern recently with the increase in house robberies which had during the last financial year increased by 27.3%. He said this was one of the issues that would receive government's "most serious attention"

Crime statistics released for the period 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009, also showed that the number of reported business robbery cases increased by a staggering 41.5% when compared to the previous year.

On Thursday, members of the Special Task Force and newly established Tactical Response Team put on a thrilling display of their skills to Mthethwa and National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele at the Thabazimbi Police Training Camp in Limpopo.

Mthethwa said it was important for police from all units to combine forces in the fight against crime.

"The whole nation is dependent on you. Your tactics are needed at the grassroots level to combat crime. As government we have declared a war on crime and we have you as a driving force in this campaign.

"We are here to give you moral support and to boost your confidence," said Mthethwa, who was also accompanied by his deputy, Fikile Mbalula.

The minister announced that government intended to change the name of the SAPS to the Police Force in order to intensify its objectives.