South African rail police pilot successful, to be implemented nation wide

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A rail police pilot program generating a 68 per cent reduction in rail-related crime in Western Cape (highlighted) will be implemented nationwide by 2008.

A successful rail police pilot in the Western Cape will now be implemented nationwide according to South African Transport Minister Joseph Radebe. Radebe announced Monday that the program, which has reportedly resulted in a 68 per cent overall decline in crime on trains and in railway stations, will be implemented throughout South Africa by 2008. More than 5,000 officers will be deployed in railway stations and on trains.

"More than 5,000 police personnel will take their rightful place in the rail environment in order to confront our security concerns. We have made an undertaking to increase our presence, particularly on strategic high volume corridors such as Khayelitsha in Cape Town, Hammanskraal in Tshwane, and Moloto in Mpumalanga, as well as links between Midrand and Thembisa," said Radebe.

Lucky Montana, Chief Executive of the government owned Metrorail, said, "The levels of crime remain unacceptably high. That is something we are concerned about. But today, we are driving the message that the safety of commuters comes first, as a priority. We are investing millions of rands to make sure that we turn around this environment."

Commuters have been subject to railway "barbarism" for too long, said Transport Minister Radebe. Radebe said that the government plans to invest more than 80 million Rand ($10.5 million USD) in the rail police system with the intention of curbing the daily murders, robberies, and kindnappings committed on the Metrorail.

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