Source: News24 (Extract)
Posted: June 18, 2021

The Western Cape community safety department launched the Overstrand Municipality’s K9 Unit, consisting of six Belgian Malinois dogs with six dog handlers at the Grotto Beach and Nautilis Site in Hermanus on Friday.

The K9 Unit will be deployed and situated within the municipal law enforcement directorate but will service the “entire” Overstrand area.

WC MEC Albert Fritz said, “the K9 Unit was an initiative first conceived while Premier [Alan] Winde was still minister of the Department of Community Safety, and it gives me immense pleasure to carry forward this exciting initiative and bring to fruition something that will increase safety for our citizens of the Overberg.”

The deployment of the K9 Unit forms part of the Provincial Safety Plan (PSP), which aims to half the murder rate in the province over the next ten years.

The PSP is comprised of Violence Prevention and Law Enforcement. The deployment of the dogs forms part of the various initiatives in law enforcement.

In attendance at the launch was the Overberg District Mayor, as well as officials from the local municipality, local SAPS stations, Cape Nature, and provincial community safety.

The department said coastal towns are particularly affected by trade and transportation of illicit substances, and that this unit will go a long way in assisting law enforcement operations to track down perpetrators and improve the safety of residents in the Overberg.

The K9 Unit dogs have been trained especially to assist with:

– Preventing the illegal transportation of narcotics, explosives, and poaching of marine resources;

– Delivering crime prevention through an integrated multidisciplinary model aimed at combating and prevention of criminality;

– Ensuring compliance with the relevant legislation including the National Road Traffic Act, the Criminal Procedure Act, Drug and Drug Trafficking Act and Firearm Control Act;

– Increasing coverage through the deployment of K9 resources after hours, and maintaining a high degree of visible policing, utilising K9 patrols, deployment to identified areas, including key points and identified crime hot spots.

The department said it provided funding to the Overstrand Municipality to facilitate the establishment of the Unit, supporting the district municipality’s safety plans.

This launch also follows the establishment of two K9 Units in the province, in the City of Cape Town and Swartland municipality respectively.

Vehicles have been provided by the department to assist with the transportation of the K9 Units to the various areas within the region to assist with the detection of narcotics, contraband, explosive devices, firearms, and ammunition.

This includes two VW Amarok double cab bakkies to the value of R1.36 million in total.