Ricochet News

Attacks on police in Northern Areas over the weekend concerning - SAPS

By Charl Bosch - Jun 6, 2016
Attacks on police in Northern Areas over the weekend concerning - SAPS

The South African Police Service (SAPS) has condemned a spate of attacks on its members in the troubled Northern Areas of Port Elizabeth over the weekend.

In a statement, Police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu said officers in Helenvale were escorting a suspect arrested on alleged drug charges to a waiting police van just before 15h00 on Friday as part of Operation Lockdown, when angry residents started pelting them with stones striking a sergeant in the face with a brick.

Residents then followed the convoy to the Gelvandale police station where they continued throwing stones resulting in the damage of police and private vehicles. No suspects have yet been arrested for the attack.

In the second incident, members were on routine patrol in Helenvale at 18h15 on Saturday, when a group of four men ran towards their vehicle as they drove up Fitchard Street. Gun shots then rang out with community members directing the officers further up road where the suspects were seen running.

Naidu said that as the officers were giving chase, two of the suspect opened fire damaging the police vehicle but without any injuries being caused. A case of attempted murder is being investigated.

“Violent attacks on our police officers are unacceptable and deplorable, especially when committed by the very people we are deployed to serve and protect,” Deputy National Commissioner responsible for National Management Interventions, Lieutenant General Gary Kruser, said.

“Every effort will be made and all available resources used to ensure that those who prey on the community and those who attack the men and women in blue, will face justice”.

Police Cluster Commander Major General Dawie Rabie said the nature of the attacks were a cause for concern as community members were taking aim at police in defence of the alleged criminals.

“Officers risk their lives to protect our communities and an attack on the police is an attack on the State and we must work together to stop it,” Rabie said.

“When police vehicles are damaged, this means that there is one less vehicle for policing. Anyone who attacks, kills or hinders our officers will be brought to book. The SAPS will not tolerate any provocation of our police officers when they are performing their duties”.