Traffic cop was targeted on Prince George Drive. Picture: Bruce Sutherland / City of Cape Town
Cape Town - A damsel in distress turned out be a criminal looking for a victim, when she and an accomplice robbed a traffic officer of his service weapon and cellphone, and fled.

The city's executive director for safety and security, Richard Bosman, said the officer was flagged down by a Volkswagen Polo on Prince George Drive, and was addressed by a female passenger in the front seat before he was threatened at gunpoint by a passenger in the back.

“They threatened to shoot him if he didn’t comply," said Bosman. "The City has organised trauma counselling for the officer and his colleagues, and we are working closely with the SAPS to find those responsible,”

Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said that in a separate incident, a metro police constable sustained a fractured foot and arm after having been being run over by the driver of a vehicle that he was pursuing at the time. The suspects had since been arrested and the driver was facing a charge of attempted murder.

Clear and present danger 

“I call on the criminal justice system to mete out the harshest possible sentence," Smith said, "as the driver attempted to run over a second metro police officer while trying to evade capture. It is also important to note that he had two minors in the vehicle with him, the younger one just three years old.

“These incidents are an indication of the danger that our staff face on an all-too-regular basis, but despite this, they continue to enforce the law and make arrests.

"In the past week, Cape Town's traffic service and metro police arrested 149 suspects," he said. "The traffic service issued 2306 fines and arrested 95 suspects on the roads, of which 72 were arrested for drunk driving. At a roadblock in Bothasig on Sunday, 10 drivers were arrested for outstanding warrants.”

R5000 reward 

Smith said attacks on criminal justice staff happened regularly, and that one could only be relieved that a robbery took place, and not a killing.

“Every few months there is an attack on an officer; SAPS has suffered incredibly. If the police force is not safe, then how can we protect the public? In this case we’re lucky there was no injury. We have an extremely good track record in tracking firearms and holding people accountable."

He added that a R5000 reward was being offered for information leading to the arrest of the robbers. Those with information that could lead to the arrest of the robbers could call 021 408 7788.

Police spokesperson captain FC van Wyk confirmed the incident, and said an armed robbery case had been registered for investigation.

Cape Argus