Cops crack down on car guards

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NM Car Guards5 (30036906) Independent Newspapers There was a blitz on car guards along the Durban beachfront by the metro police yesterday  with 35 people arrested for allegedly operating without permits. Picture: Gcina Ndwalane

Durban - Some familiar faces will be absent from Durban’s beachfront – for a while at least – after the metro police arrested 35 car guards who did not have permits on Thursday.

eThekwini metro police spokesman Eugene Msomi said 34 men and one woman would appear in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

Msomi said the operation was to inspect who was working along Marine Drive (between Suncoast and uShaka Marine World), and to see if they were compliant with the by-laws.

The operation was led by the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority with the eThekwini metro police and SAPS.

Authority spokeswoman Siziwe Zuma said the operation was held after a number of public complaints.

“The concern was that the car guards are not registered,” she said.

“There have also been incidents of motorists being harassed by guards demanding money.”

There had also been a rise in vehicle break-ins and “remote-control” crime in which cars’ locking systems were jammed with a special device, Zuma said.

All those arrested were interviewed and checked to ensure they were registered on the authority’s system. One of those arrested was wanted for housebreaking and theft.

Msomi said crime at the beachfront increased in the holidays and that it was no secret that car guards were involved in crime.

“We do not want problems during the festive season,” Msomi said.

The law says no person can do security work for remuneration unless they are registered as a security service provider.

Msomi added that people operating as car or security guards needed to be trained and registered by the authority.

They also needed to wear identifiable uniforms and carry cards visibly displaying their registration numbers.

Some car guards arrested were wearing Car Watch North Beach Police Community Forum bibs.

The guards said that, to the best of their knowledge, they were registered. - The Mercury

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