Joined: May 08, 2005 Posts: 1078 Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 5:44 pm Post subject: Cops hit out at crooks by taking to the skies
Teams of specially trained elite police are hitting back hard at violent criminals as they take to the skies and roads in a massive anti-crime drive.
The national operation, which is being conducted out of Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban, involves members of the national intervention unit, the SA Air Force and the SAPS air wing.
Using helicopters as a means of rapid deployment, these teams of crack policemen and women patrol the skies of Gauteng, monitoring radios in search for thugs hoping to make a "quick buck" by attacking cash-in-transit vans, shopping malls and banks.
Kitted out with bullet-proof vests, special goggles, helmets and armed to the teeth with rifles and handguns fitted with special target scopes, these teams operate day and night throughout the province.
'No matter where you look you will see us'
Their goal is to catch crooks, both violent and petty.
Operational commander Director David Garnett means business when he says this is no game. "We are going out there to do a job that normal policing is failing to do," he says before climbing onboard a helicopter armed with an R5 rifle.
Garnett, who is based with the SAPS operational response service, is determined that the new tactics will make a difference in the fight against crime.
"We are using new strategies so that we can fight and beat these ruthless thugs who think nothing of taking people's lives.
"We are going into this with a no-nonsense attitude and want the public to know that we are serious about dealing harshly with criminals," he said, adding that the operation involved high police visibility on the roads and in the skies.
Garnett, who was reluctant to discuss the operation's finer strategies, said he wanted both the criminals and the public to know that the police were out there.
"No matter where you look you will see us - be it walking through shopping malls at opening and closing times, at intersections, standing outside a bank or at your local petrol station - we are going to be there. And if people need our help we will be there," Garnett said.
Watching in awe as police swooped through Menlyn Park Shopping Centre, Deidr _________________ Serving the Civil Helo Industry - www.heliopsmag.com
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