The long arm of the law

2015-09-24 06:00

City traffic officers were led on their fair share of high-speed chases this weekend, but the law-breakers came off second best.

A motorist will appear in court soon, after fleeing the scene of a hit-and-run incident in Athlone.

The driver, in a Toyota Cressida, hit a female pedestrian on the corner of Klipfontein and Hazel Roads just before 22:00 on Saturday 19 September 2015.

Ghost Squad members on patrol in the area gave chase as the motorist sped off towards Gugulethu. He eventually came to a stop after colliding with another vehicle in Crossroads and then fled on foot, but officers caught up with him.

The suspect was taken to the Athlone Police Station and will appear in court on charges of reckless and negligent driving and fleeing the scene of an accident.

Hours later, the Ghost Squad arrested three motorists for reckless and negligent driving while responding to complaints of illegal street racing in Mitchells Plain.

Two others were arrested for drunk driving – one of whom refused to stop, leading officers on a chase which eventually ended in Philippi. He was found to be four times over the legal blood-alcohol limit.

‘In both cases, these motorists are facing charges additional to those which put them on our radar in the first place. The lesson here is to just pull over and take responsibility for your actions,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.

On Sunday 20 September 2015, the City’s Traffic Service arrested 25 motorists for drunk driving during a roadblock in Mitchells Plain and issued 2 272 fines.

The City’s Metro Police Department netted a further 26 drunk drivers – 10 of them caught at two checkpoints in Hout Bay on Saturday 19 September 2015. Officers also arrested 11 suspects for drug-related offences at various locations across the city.

Meanwhile, the Metro Police Camera Response Unit arrested a 19-year-old thief on Friday 18 September 2015. The suspect was caught on camera during a smash-and-grab incident on the corner of Jakes Gerwel Drive and Washington Drive in Langa. CCTV operators led the Camera Response Unit to the suspect’s location but, when confronted by the officers, he tried to stab one of them – prompting the second officer to fire a shot. The suspect was wounded in the thigh.

He received medical treatment, after which he was arrested on charges of possession of stolen goods, possession of a dangerous weapon, common assault and resisting arrest. The victim also added a charge of theft out of motor vehicle. Officers managed to recover the victim’s handbag and all its contents, including more than R600 in cash.

‘This incident had a happy ending for the motorist in question because we managed to retrieve all her belongings. However, I want to renew my call to motorists to please store valuables like handbags, laptops and cellphones in the boot while driving; to keep doors and windows locked at all times; and to be wary of people loitering at intersections. Keep an eye on your surroundings instead of your cellphone; not only is it illegal to use it while you’re behind the wheel, but it also makes you more vulnerable to potential criminals,’ added Alderman Smith

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