Public safety officers have been involved in at least five incidents in recent days, involving suspicious behavior and arrests across Hermanus.
“A couple of these cases played themselves out in the early hours of the morning. I hope this gives criminals the message that these officers are on duty and on guard around the clock, and that criminal activity cannot be hidden in the darkness of night,” says Marius Boshoff, Hermanus branch manager for Fidelity ADT.
In one such nighttime incident, an unidentified person was spotted by CCTV operators where he was loitering in the industrial area and looking into business windows. “Hermanus Public Protection (HPP) officers joined Fidelity ADT armed response officers and members of the SAPS in searching for the suspect, and he was later located where he was hiding. There was no sign that any of the businesses had experienced any loss or damage to property, and police decided to detain the suspect on a charge of unruly behavior,” says Boshoff. HPP is a ratepayer funded initiative in partnership with Fidelity ADT.
The second incident was also at night, just after midnight. Three unidentified persons were seen pushing trolleys along the R43, which raised suspicion. “The three were stopped and searched, which led to the discovery of old identity documents and passports as well as three mandrax tablets. The documents were confiscated and one suspect was arrested on a charge of being in possession of drugs,” says Boshoff.
Meanwhile, another suspect was located after he reportedly grabbed a cellphone from a 14-year-old while she was walking along a footpath. “HPP officers joined other colleagues and partners in searching for the suspect, he was found hiding in bushes. He took officers to where he had buried the stolen phone, and was then escorted to the police station. The parents of the mugging victim declined to press charges in order to spare her the secondary trauma of a legal process, and the suspect was allowed to leave with a warning.”
Boshoff says HPP officers were also called to intervene when two car guards became involved in a violent argument. One of the men was later apprehended when an assault case was opened against him by the second guard.
FADT also render 24 Hour Access Control & Patrol Guarding services to estates and businesses in Hermanus.
There was also yet another incident, this time at the local golf club where FADT provides the guarding service.
“One of our officers was on duty at the club when he noticed two men pushing a trolley with a gas bottle inside. He questioned them on their reason why they were at the club and where they had obtained the gas bottle, and he became ever more concerned when their answers and explanations kept changing. They were handed over to the police and charged with possession of suspected stolen property.”