Johannesburg – National police commissioner Riah Phiyega is concerned by the number of robberies in Gauteng committed by people wearing police uniform or using cars with blue lights.
Phiyega said in a statement: “250 dockets are being followed up. These robberies, the way they are done in particular, is of huge concern for me and I have set up a multi-disciplinary team comprising detectives, visible [uniform] policing and crime intelligence, as well as a retired detective.”
The team will be led by divisional commissioner of detectives Lt-Gen Vineshkumar Moonoo.
Phiyega said the crimes had resurfaced in the province over recent months with instances of businesspeople being robbed on their way to or from the bank and people being followed and then robbed while travelling from OR Tambo airport. Investigations established that some groups colluded with hotel staff, metered taxi drivers, and, in certain cases, police.
“The role of police officers is found to be either direct physical involvement or the supply of items such as uniforms, blue lights or firearms,” she said. “Over the past couple of weeks detectives have been interacting with victims and further analysing the cases to get a better understanding of the crimininals’ operations as well as the people possibly involved.
“Indications so far are that these crimes are opportunistic.”
The police urged people who were stopped by a private car fitted with blue lights to slow down and continue driving to a well-lit area or to the nearest police station.