Wheels24

Joburg 'cop gang' using real cops?

2012-05-17 07:46

JOHANNESBURG - A gang posing as police officers has been targeting the East Rand and Johannesburg's northern suburbs, Gauteng police have said, with a top official admitting police members might be involved.

He also admitted that SIX HUNDRED Gauteng officers had been arrested for various crimes in the past 18 months.

The areas being targeted are Benoni, Germiston, the N17, Beyers Naude Drive and the N14 near Dieplsoot. Five cases have recently been reported and the circumstances of each incident are similar.

Acting provincial police commissioner Major-General Pumza Gela said three to five people in an unmarked car - the gang uses mostly white Golfs - were hijacking and robbing people after-hours when it was not safe to stop.

POLICE 'CONNIVING'

"It cannot be excluded that police members are conniving with [these] criminals," Gela said before adding, "This gang is carrying high-calibre weapons."
 
He urged residents not to stop if they were indicated to do so by people in an unmarked vehicle using blue lights.

"Don't stop. Look for the safest place such as a garage or a police station. If it's a law-abiding officer, he will follow you."

Drivers pulled over by someone claiming to be an officer in an unmarked car should demand their credentials.

Gela's caution follows news that about 600 Gauteng police officers have been arrested in the past 18 months, although Gela said 99% of officers were "good".

"There may be corrupt members in our ranks but it's not all of us. It's a drop in the ocean."

REPORT INCIDENTS

Gela said police management was taking back police uniforms not in use to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands and a new system had been put in place with regard to the issuing of state firearms.

He urged the public to report the registration plates of suspicious vehicles.

Gela also urged affected drivers to report the case immediately, saying the challenge for police was that many hijackings and robberies were reported - sometimes days - later.

"At times there are gaps of about two hours in between ... the vehicle could be outside the province by then," Gela said.

If cases were reported immediately, police would be dispatched to the scene straight away, he said.

WHEELS24 SAYS: Is this senior officer living in the real world? Any ordinary driver refusing to stop for a police car - real or not - is likely to be shot at. If you've just been hijacked and robbed late at night your cellphone is sure to have gone - how do you call for help? What is suspicious about a cruising white VW Golf? And why, oh why, are the senior cops still in their jobs when 600 of their men are alleged criminals?

Let's have YOUR views in the Readers' Comments section below - and no profanity, please, or racial innuendo.

SAPA

Comments
  • Marius - 2012-05-17 09:09

    600 is NOT a drop in the ocean!!!

      raath - 2012-05-17 16:55

      and "arrested" vs. "prosecuted" and "sentenced"? Yeah you arrested 600, but how many are back on the streets and how many are actually behind bars?

  • danny.levin.351 - 2012-05-17 09:26

    That is 600 that have been arrested. not only it is a HUGE ammount to start with, but how many are out there that have not been caught (yet)? Furthermore, "police may be involved"... is there a doubt? R5's can only be bought or stolen from the SAPS or army. police uniforms and vests can only be bought or stolen form the police. we should not forget that in the past three years the SAPS has addmitted to have "lost" over 500 firearms (I'm sure even they don't know the real numbers) It is becoming apparent that the only way to heal the SAPS maybe to disband it, and start from fresh. To the 10 dedicated and not corrupt SAPS officers (in the whole country) you have my apologies.

      arno.vanniekerk.12 - 2012-05-17 12:50

      I really miss that country but so glad I left it, a while ago there was a report stating if youre a woman and if its after 6 pm u dont have to stop for anyone pulling u over just drive to the nearest police station, so my friend did it (woman) got arrested for fleeing a crime scene, try that now with a certain skin colour.

  • Ryan - 2012-05-17 09:26

    That's 600 SO FAR!! A drop in the ocean?? I fully agree with the "Wheels 24" conclusion - stop/don't stop, you're in trouble either way ...

  • danny.levin.351 - 2012-05-17 09:28

    Corrention to my previous post. our glorious boys in blue have admitted to having "lost" five thousand (5000), not five hundred firearms. sorry about the typo.

  • Deon - 2012-05-17 10:03

    The problem with the arrests is that they will get a slap on the hand, get suspended for months and all this while still getting paid

  • neil.big.craig - 2012-05-17 12:54

    Well, it is as they say: "It takes a crook to catch a crook".....

  • Colin - 2012-05-17 14:20

    drop in the ocean. there should be none whatsoever.

  • Fussed - 2012-05-17 14:34

    And when we get shot for not stopping, are you going to support our family. Like fu@#%en hell

  • Mohamed - 2012-05-17 15:15

    How about some solutions for a change? Here’s mine 1. Current police officers with criminal records be let go. 2. Those being investigated, Suspended without pay, Back pay if found not guilty. 3. Municipal policing for all areas, with photo boards of all active officers posted in strategic places 4. Provincial police for areas between municipalities ( State troopers ) a. Dedicated marked cars for each type with large I.D. Marks ( Eg JHB 44 ) Strictly no un-marked cars or (Normal) plain clothes officers 5. Trackers and on board cams for all cars, both linked to SAPS command centres 6. All cars, fire arms etc,to be left at the station before going home, Maintain register for the above, officer that signs is responsible for it. 7. Breathalyser start functions of all cars. 8. Have a computer system, e.g. SAP, to link all police PC’s to a central serve. Possible to get and transmit info to other police and areas for faster response. 9. A single Toll Free number active from any cell or land line that goes to the nearest police station, not 1011, who knows where it goes before being rerouted while you are on hold 10. Law requiring all cells must have a dedicated quick dial button.when in trouble, it will activate tracking and responce, unless not password cancelled . If the phone companies want business in S.A., they will make it happen. All of the above is doable, and will pay off in the long run, ALTENATIVELY outsource BUT that could open up a whole new can of worms

  • Simon - 2012-05-17 19:32

    All i can say is cry "our beloved country" and forget about justice because it is "just us". Our government is riddled with incompetence to such an extent that, it has become an acceptable norm - look at how corruption has been commonly accepted within government!

  • Jacques - 2012-05-18 12:03

    Interpol declared that we have the best police force in the world. In 90% of cases where a crime is being committed, the police are already on the scene.

      vuyani.valashiya - 2012-05-21 15:56

      They are on the scene to take statements and no investigation thereafter.

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