Much-vaunted City, Golden Arrow deal to ensure Cape passenger safety non-existent
Cape Town - The much-vaunted deal between the City and the Golden Arrow Bus Service (Gabs) to deploy Law Enforcement officers on buses is non-existent and crime against passengers and bus personnel continues unabated.
In the latest incidents, four robbers were eventually apprehended after robbing passengers numerous times on the Claremont route.
Law Enforcement spokesperson Wayne Dyason said the officers were told of four suspects on a bus in Claremont who had previously robbed a Gabs bus. They were spotted by victims who were robbed on three different dates.
Dyason said the victims exited the bus and informed the officials.
“At about 5.20pm, the officers’ reaction team arrived on the scene and the bus they were on was pointed out to the officers on the corners of Robert Sobukwe and Duinefontein roads.
“The persons who exited the bus prior to the officers arriving were phoned by a Gabs official. The victim identified the suspect who robbed her on a bus on June 31 and July 25.”
Dyason said one suspect was found to match her description and was positively identified. Another witness identified another suspect who allegedly robbed her of her cellphone on Tuesday and the description also matched the other suspect.
“The Law Enforcement officers transported the two suspects to Philippi East police station where they were arrested.”
In another incident, a bus was torched after stones were placed on the road.
Gabs spokesperson Bronwen Dyke-Beyer said when the bus turned the corner, the driver saw that stones had been placed in the road - he attempted to reverse but unknown assailants began to pelt the bus with stones.
Dyke-Beyer said the driver fled along with two other drivers who were on the bus. One was robbed and another sustained a neck injury.
Dyke-Beyer said Gabs relied on the government and the police to keep their drivers and passengers safe as they are constitutionally mandated to.
“We have officials on the ground doing sweeps across the metropole daily but they can never replace the essential role that the police must play in apprehending criminals,” Dyke-Beyer said.
She said every case of robbery was reported to the police, which they try to assist with as much information as possible, but it was their belief that the only way to eliminate robberies and arson attacks was to have visible policing and arrests which lead to convictions.
Dyke-Beyer said Gabs still works closely with the Law Enforcement but the pilot project of 20 Law Enforcement signed last year by the City and Gabs to ensure a safer environment for passengers was no longer in place.
City spokesperson Luthando Tyhalibongo said the agreement between the City’s Law Enforcement department and Gabs came to an end in February and was not renewed due to capacity constraints.
Tyhalibongo said the learner Law Enforcement officers took up positions as part of the City’s roll-out of the Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (Leap).
Dyke-Beyer said: “This work is now being done by Leap officers who have been tasked with stabilising crime hotspots in the metropole.”
She said they were relieved by Wednesday’s arrests and hope that would send a very clear message to brazen criminals that they will be caught.