Cops set up task team to patrol city
Police have promised a safer Johannesburg CBD with the formation of a joint intervention task team to fight crime in the country's economic capital.
The task team was launched yesterday at the JMPD headquarters in Martindale, Johannesburg.
The Joint Intervention Task Team is made up of 17 members of Saps and 16 officers from the Johannesburg Metro Police Department.
It will provide support and react to incidents spotted by the 216CCTV cameras dotted around the inner city.
The task team has already arrested three armed robbers in the city.
Johannesburg Central Police Station's Director Ngoako Mashao said that the city was experiencing an increase in business robberies, housebreaking and hijacking.
"We need a team of police officers who will solely focus on our city and make it a safer place to be," said Mashao.
The task team will directly report to him and acting JMPD chief David Tembe.
Supporting existing units that deal withcar hijacking, murder, house and business robberies will also be among the task team's responsibility.
Other duties to be taken on by the task team include stop-and- search operations and raids on liquor outlets, illegal taxi ranks and panel-beating shops.
"We want to make Johannesburg a crime-free city ahead of the Confederations Cup in June," said Mashao.
Head of the task team Senior Superintendent Kobus Lategan said his officers would work flexible hours and at times undercover.
"As the task team proceeds with its duties they will come with new ideas on how to better execute their responsibilities," said Lategan.
He said the team will also monitor shopping malls to back up the the Shopping Centre Security Initiative.
"If we have to use force we will do that too," said Mashao.