Cape Town’s new train police hit the tracks

Arson attacks on Cape Town’s trains have left the city with less than 40 serviceable trains – and now the city has joined hands with Metrorail to launch its 100-member Rail Enforcement Unit.

On Monday‚ the 100 new recruits lined up in neat formation in Cape Town’s main train terminal where they were inspected by the mayoral committee member for transport and urban development‚ Brett Herron‚ mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith‚ and transport MEC Donald Grant.

With them were the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (Prasa’s) own enforcement unit‚ but the two groups stood in stark contrast.

Unlike Prasa’s enforcement unit‚ the city’s officers carry guns‚ pepper spray‚ and bulletproof vests. They are also new recruits and not the military veterans which make up the mainstay of Prasa’s railway security force.

From this week‚ teams of five officers‚ with an inspector assigned to each unit‚ will board trains across the metro. They will support the two Prasa security guards who are already supposed to patrol each train.

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