WATCH: How to buy illegal blue lights in minutes

2016-05-31 12:32
News24's reporter purchases the blue LED light. (Screengrab, News24)

News24's reporter purchases the blue LED light. (Screengrab, News24)

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Durban - Blue lights like those used by the police are easily accessible in Durban's China Mall, and for several hundred rands, it would appear anyone can outfit their vehicle to look like a cop car.

This as instances of criminals posing as police officers abound.

A News24 investigation revealed that one can, within minutes, purchase a blue LED dash light and a siren from a shop within the China Mall.

A light was purchased last week Thursday and at no point did the store clerk request police identification.

The police were alerted to the presence of the shop and the items on sale, with spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane confirming that an investigation had commenced.

Institute for Security Studies senior researcher Dr Johan Burger said that criminals posing as cops had become all too problematic.

Gang of fake policemen

"It has been so [problematic] for a long time. We have had so many instances there where criminals pose as police officers by using police equipment, from uniforms, identity cards and certainly blue lights on their vehicles," he said.

"We have even had extreme cases where they have cloned police cars and this is something that is clearly outlawed in the Police Services Act and it makes it a criminal offence to be in possession of anything that gives the impression that one is an officer of the law when they are not," he said.

"Certainly those that sell this type of equipment should be criminally charged. There can be no other use of those blue lights than by those lawfully authorised to do so," he said.

Last year Durban police warned of a gang of fake policeman who were terrorizing Durban suburbs.

Masquerading as policemen, their modus operandi included hijacking and armed robbery, police had said.

Victims threatened

Zwane said at the time that the bogus officers were being sought.

"It has come to the attention of this office that there is a motor vehicle, a white Toyota Avanza, driving around in KwaMashu, Newlands East and in Greenwood Park areas robbing community members," he had said.

He said the occupants of the car, although not wearing police uniforms, used a car fitted with a police blue light and presented themselves as police members as they stopped unsuspecting motorists and robbed them.

Among their victims was the driver of a VW Golf and his passenger, who were stopped in Ramchand Road in the Greenwood Park area and threatened with a firearm.

The suspects removed the vehicle keys from the ignition and bundled the two victims into their Toyota Avanza.

WATCH News24's video below:

Read more on:    police  |  durban  |  crime  |  blue light incidents

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