Mangaung Flying Squad on foot patrol

George Michalakis

DA member in the National Council of Provinces for the Free State

On an oversight visit to the Mangaung Flying Squad earlier this week, I found that the unit faced a serious shortage of vehicles needed to fulfil its function of responding to urgent, priority and violent crime.

The unit only has 14 vehicles at its disposal for various functions, three have recently been boarded, one is being used exclusively by the Commander, two have been allocated for administrative purposes and another three belong to the diving unit.

As a result, the Mangaung Flying Squad currently only has five vehicles at its disposal for rapid response to crime, four of these are in for maintenance, leaving the unit with only one operational vehicle servicing ten police stations throughout the metro and large stretches of the N1 and the Dewetsdorp road.

The only operational vehicle has to be shared among the 14 police officers on duty at any given time. Police officers not assigned to the vehicle are assigned to foot patrol duty instead. The unit requires a minimum of 12 vehicles for operational shifts.

The Flying Squad plays a critical role in the prevention of and response to crime.

At the next available opportunity in the NCOP, I will submit oral questions to the National Minister of Police asking why his department has not provided this crucial unit with the vehicles it requires to do its work and; by when it will do so?

The Mangaung Flying Squad has been reduced to a foot patrol unit. It is time that the National Police Minister takes responsibility and act with urgency to protect the residents of the metro.