New stock theft unit welcomed

2007-11-13 00:00

The task team, which will have teams based around the province, are a specialised reactive unit that will step in as soon as stock has been stolen.

Co-ordinated by Superintendent Ivan Hamilton, who is situated in Pietermaritzburg, the task team hopes that all stock owners will come on board and make use of their services. “Stock theft has been a matter of concern in the whole of KZN. We want to build up trust in the community, especially among the emerging farmers and black stock owners. For many of them, 10 cattle represents their entire livelihood and they cannot afford to lose them.”

Hamilton said that previously when stock theft was reported to police, precious time was lost before a case was opened. “It could take up to three days before the stock theft unit began looking for stock,” said Hamilton.

But now the owners will be encouraged to immediately call the unit who will spring into action looking for the stock, where possible.

Hamilton invites stock owners to contact him in case of an emergency and with information that may assist the team. The task team comprises four teams in Pietermaritzburg, Newcastle, Ulundi and Port Shepstone.

He emphasised that the objective of the task team is not to replace stock theft units, nor to take over their duties, but merely to provide a support structure and improve service delivery.

“The team is there to act as a reactive recovery group to recover stock as quickly as possible. All the other necessary steps that are normally undertaken during reported stock theft cases, by the different role players, will continue as normal,” he said.

Besides their reactive function, they will also carry out stop and searches where stock is transported and will act on any information relating to stock theft. When reports are made to the task team, each incident will be assessed and prioritised, said Hamilton.

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