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Video footage shared on social media led to capture of vandals

Published: August 03, 2022

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The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s Metro Police arrested three suspects shortly after a video was shared at 13:16 this afternoon on a crime prevention WhatsApp group.

The men were caught red-handed while trying to take off with pieces of the aluminium railing at the Russell Road off-ramp.

Metro Police Lieutenant Colonel Wade Warner could hardly believe his eyes when he saw the incoming message showing the crime in progress and immediately notified officers on patrol.

"The officers were patrolling in Strand Street, a few hundred metres below the area of the M4-freeway where the culprits were trying to damage the road infrastructure, in broad daylight.

"They located the vandals within a minute and arrested them for damaging municipal infrastructure,” Warner said.

The WhatsApp group is a resource for business owners in the Central Business District as well as Metro Police and the South African Police Services to share information.

Acting Metro Police Commissioner Andrew Moses says the collaboration between the business owners and law enforcement was a prime example of how the scourge of vandalism can be approached.

"Cable theft and damage to infrastructure place a heavy burden on the municipality’s service delivery programme as much needed resources must be reverted to repairs instead of improving conditions for the community at large.

"Plans are afoot to implement a comprehensive strategy to address the vandalism and theft of municipal infrastructure holistically. Close working relations with different stakeholders such as the business sector will definitely be part of that strategy.

"However, we are happy to celebrate every little victory at this stage,” Moses said.

The suspects were booked at the Humewood Police Station for damaging infrastructure.

Ends

Issued on behalf of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality by Media Management Officer Kupido Baron (082 780 2726 / 041 506 1500 / kbaron@mandelametro.gov.za / @kupidobaron).


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