Ghost Squad powers on, ten years later.
The traffic enforcement unit has racked up thousands of successes in the decade since its launch on 9 July 2009, and the work continues, particularly in the area of illegal street racing.
The City of Cape Town’s Ghost Squad is officially ten years old.
Launched on 9 July 2009, the team was established to create an illusion of omnipresence to reduce transgressions by the motoring public.
The Ghost Squad started out with 12 traffic officers and an inspector, using unmarked vehicles and working irregular hours to clamp down on especially serious driving offences like reckless and negligent and drunk driving.
In the first few months after launch, the unit was averaging 2 210 offences per month.
The unit was expanded over time to 30 staff members and three supervisors, 20 vehicles and 10 motorcycles.
Today, it is slightly smaller (23 staff members), but the rate of enforcement has nearly quadrupled since launch, to an average of 7 986 offences a month.
Seven of the officers attached to the unit have been there since day one.
Apart from serious moving violations, the officers have also made countless arrests for serious crimes like the possession of illegal firearms and drugs. But, they also have a softer side to them, including helping to deliver a baby on the side of the road, carrying drunk drivers to safety and saving suspects from harm.