CAPE TOWN – Armed officers will soon be riding with commuters on Metrorail trains in Cape Town.
Recent arson attacks, murders and robberies on trains have led to the deployment of the first 100 of these officers who are being trained specifically to work on trains.
The Rail Enforcement Unit will see armed officers, in teams of at least six on patrol, aboard train carriages.
The trainees are confident they will stop the numerous criminal acts aboard trains.
“We also have close combat training so firearms will be a last resort,” said trainee Silulami Nomtayi.
“We first start with minimum force, which is your baton, your pepper spray, then if need be your firearm.”
“We have been seeing in the news that people are getting murdered on the trains, we are there now to stop that and we will probably stop it.”
Close to R50-million is being spent on this pilot project but the cash-strapped Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa has yet to pay their R16-million share.
The officers will be deployed in October.