Provincial nod to see CAT back on the prowl

2015-09-30 11:45
The K9 unit’s Constable Bianca Cantello and her dog, Atilla, with Combined Action Team members at Kharina Secondary School ahead of the Community On Patrol (Cop) initiative set to begin next month.

The K9 unit’s Constable Bianca Cantello and her dog, Atilla, with Combined Action Team members at Kharina Secondary School ahead of the Community On Patrol (Cop) initiative set to begin next month. (Ian Carbutt)

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Pietermaritzburg - The Combined Action Team are back, this time with the order to ­reinstate the project coming from the provincial level.

The push to save the crime-fighting unit follows an outcry from the Pietermaritzburg community after the police project was ended last week.

When Mayor Chris Ndlela got ­involved late last week to protest against the project being disbanded, CAT chief of operations Nobin ­Karien reportedly approached ­provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni to plead for the team’s revival.

A surprise announcement was made yesterday when Ngobeni’s communications department ­released a statement saying that she had decided to intervene.

Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said Ngobeni had decided that the project should ­continue to address the high rate of crime in police precincts within the uMgungundlovu District.

Naicker said that this time around, however, CAT would be managed from the office of the provincial ­commissioner under the command of the Visible Policing Component.

“The KwaZulu-Natal police ­commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni felt that the project has been highly successful in combating crime in Pietermaritzburg and should continue operating in the uMgungundlovu area,” Naicker said.

In the statement, Ngobeni said that police partnerships such as CAT were “crucial to curtailing criminal activities in any community”, and it was important that the police ­participate in any endeavours ­targeted at reducing crime.

“The Project CAT team will ­continue to maintain the partnerships that exist between police and the community. It is through endeavours such as these that we have been able to continue reducing crime across the province,” Ngobeni said.

The move came as a group of ­community members yesterday ­announced that they would rally today in a public demonstration to demand that the project be reinstated.

That protest has reportedly now been postponed.

It is believed that CAT will resume duties on Monday

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  cat

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