Riah Phiyega sets up team to tackle ‘blue light’ crime

2013-10-21 16:42

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National police commissioner Riah Phiyega has expressed concern at the number of robberies in Gauteng allegedly committed by people wearing police uniform or using cars with blue lights.

“Thus far, there are about 250 dockets which are being followed up,” Phiyega said in a statement today.

“These robberies, the modus operandi in particular, is of huge concern for me and I have set up a multi-disciplinary team comprising members from detectives, visible [uniform] policing, and crime intelligence, as well as a retired detective.”

The team would be led by divisional commissioner of detectives Lt-Gen Vineshkumar Moonoo.

Phiyega said the trend resurfaced in the province over recent months with instances of business people being robbed on their way to or from the bank.

In other instances people were being followed and then robbed while travelling from the airport. Investigations established that some groups colluded with hotel staff, metered taxi drivers, and in certain cases, police.

“The role of police officers is found to be either direct physical involvement or the supply of items such as uniforms, blue lights or firearms,” she said.

“Over the past couple of weeks, detectives have been interacting with victims and further analysing the cases to get a better understanding of the modus operandi as well as the people possibly involved. Indications so far are that these crimes are opportunistic in nature.”

The police urged people who were stopped by a private car fitted with blue lights to slow down and continue driving to a well-lit area or to the nearest police station.

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