Tuesday, October 22, 2013

SA Police heroes honoured !

SA Police heroes honoured by Nathi Mthethwa
October 2013

The Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa paid tribute to the leaders in the fight against crime.
Some of South Africa’s finest crime-fighters were honoured last Friday at the National Tracker-SAPS Awards in Gauteng, with the Bloemfontein Air Wing scooping top honours for Best Unit, and Warrant Officer Jacques Nel (The Point of Entry Tracing Team in Lebombo) winning Best Individual.

The Tracker-SAPS Awards was introduced in 1996 to honour the law enforcement officers and units whose efforts in the use of Tracker’s technology have made a significant impact on the recovery of stolen and hijacked vehicles, thus contributing to the fight against crime in South Africa. With more than 1400 Police Tracking Computers fitted to police vehicles, Mthethwa said that the partnership has achieved 65 000 recoveries, which has led them to more than 12 000 arrests.

Amid a packed house of finalists from 40 units, 180 high-ranking police officials, insurance partners, Crime Line and other safety and security stakeholders, The Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa paid tribute to the leaders in the fight against crime. Mthethwa said, "When Tracker and the SAPS became partners in 1996, rampant vehicle crime levels in South Africa were making headlines around the world. While vehicle crime remains a serious concern for all South Africans, the statistics have come down significantly - thanks, in no small part, to the SAPS-Tracker partnership.”

Tracker’s Executive Operations Director, Ron Knott-Craig, handed out awards, sharing further key statistics on the strength of the Tracker-SAPS partnership, "In 1995, our new government called on the public and private sector to link arms and work to build our country. What was required was collaboration. One result of this can be best illustrated by one province achieving a recovery rate of 100% last year, remarkable by anyone’s standards. The same province has achieved a 100% recovery rate for 10 out of the past 16 years. Seven provinces have achieved over 85%, and perhaps, most importantly, four provinces arrest 1 suspect for every 1.5 to 2 vehicles recovered.”

Award criteria was based upon outstanding contribution in the area of vehicle crime investigation, number of recoveries, and arrests, as well as outstanding efforts in coordinating recovery actions, with overall winners announced as:

Best Unit:

• Bloemfontein Air Wing - Colonel Phiri collected the award - for their work with missing persons cases, recovering stolen and hijacked vehicles and cross-border patrols.

Best Individual:

• Warrant Officer Jacques Nel - The Point of Entry Tracing Team in Lebombo - for crime-fighting on the border into neighbouring countries. He has been responsible for more than 50 vehicle recoveries.

Winners received a certificate, personalised trophy, a cheque payable to the charity organisation nominated by the recipient to the value of R10 000, and an invitation to attend the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators Annual Training Seminar, in Fort Worth Texas, USA.

It was revealed that Tracker has also committed R6m to the Tracker/SAPS Bursary Scheme, which provides tertiary education bursaries to the children of police officers who have been killed in the line of duty, benefitting students from across the country. Only last month Deputy Police Minister, Makhotso Sotyu, lauded businesses including Massmart and Tracker for launching bursary schemes to support the orphans of deceased police officers. "As government, we get aggrieved each and every time we lose a police officer, for the nation gets robbed of a piece of a safe future each time," she said.

Mthethwa concluded by asking those that are leading the fight to share their expertise. He said, "When you leave here today, I urge you to take your learning and experiences and share them with your colleagues. A candle loses nothing by lighting another, and together the darkness is overcome - the brighter the light will burn for all South Africans.”

( FA News )


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