Special courts for climate summit

2011-11-23 12:48

Special courts will be on standby 24 hours a day to deal with climate change conference-related crimes, police said today.

“We will have a 24-hour court system for COP17 related crimes. We want to deal with them the way we did during the soccer World Cup,” Senior
Superintendent Vish Naidoo said.

The Durban Magistrates Court would be used because of its proximity to the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Conference Centre where the 17th Conference of Parties (Cop17) takes place.

“Even if the crime takes place in Cape Town when delegates arrive, there will be people on standby there to deal with the case,” said Naidoo.

During the Soccer World Cup last year, 54 special courts were set up around the country to speedily handle cases relating to the tournament.

The aim of having certain courts on standby was to ensure that cases were finalised as quickly as possible, said Naidoo.

“Our assessment has shown that we are ready in terms of the number of police officers who will be deployed during the conference,” he said but refused to say how many police were being deployed.

“All we can say is that we are ready. There will be high police visibility in Durban during the conference,” he said.

Police would use bicycles, horses and some would patrol on foot.

“The majority of our members will use bicycles as part of pledging our commitment to reducing gas emissions that cause climate change.”

Naidoo said planning for the conference began nine months ago and that the planners had relied on the country’s past experiences handling big events.

“The planning included the police, SA National Defence Force, traffic departments and various government departments,” he said.

The conference starts on Monday and finishes on December 9 and will be attended by 15 000 delegates and more than 10 000 observers from more than 190 countries.

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