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New unit in dogged pursuit of illegal drugs

 


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Cape Town Metro Police will soon be able to raid ’drug outlets’ and search vehicles and occupants at roadblocks and vehicle control points more efficiently, thanks to their new canine colleagues.

Source: City of Cape Town

Eleven dogs and handlers started their training in narcotics detection at Dogs and All, outside Malmesbury in late August. Their training – which includes fitness, firearm skills, and special weapons and techniques – will be complete in time for the festive season.

The trainees underwent an extensive selection process, and will learn how to detect and identify all known narcotics including dagga, tik (methamphetamines), cocaine, ecstasy and mandrax. On completion of their training the unit will form part of the Special Operations Division of the Metro Police, which includes other elite units such as the Tactical and Camera Response Units. The team will work from the new dog unit kennels in Parow, under the leadership of Senior Superintendent Charl Kitching.

A further two handlers and dogs are likely to be trained in explosive and firearm detection prior to the start of the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup™.

Although the dogs, mostly German Shepherds, cost R15 000 each to train, the City is certain it will be worth every cent, and more. There has been a 500% increase in drug-related crime in Cape Town over the past seven years, and already at least 80% of crime in this city is somehow linked to drug and substance abuse. Drugs endanger the lives of residents and visitors, and degrade the city for everyone.

They are often transported by road, and the City aims to intercept consignments before they reach their outlets.

Sniffer dogs are already used to good effect in the Tshwane and Johannesburg Metro Police departments.

For more information, contact Nowellen Petersen, Metro Police on 021 400 1752.

Martin Pollack


Date Posted: 2009-10-14
Posted By: CITY OF CAPE TOWN
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