9 suspects arrested since launch of CT’s rail unit

The unit is a joint initiative between the City of Cape Town, provincial government and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa.

Seventy-one Rail Enforcement Officers were deployed to the Cape Town rail network in October 2018. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The City's Rail Enforcement Unit says its arrested nine people since its deployment back in October.

The unit is a joint initiative between the City of Cape Town, provincial government and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa.

It’s aimed at curbing crime on trains and preventing attacks on rail infrastructure, including arson attacks. Close to 50 train carriages have been destroyed in arson attack-related incidents on the city's lines this year alone

In an effort to mitigate this, 100 officers are said to have undergone extensive training and deployed on the Cape's rail network.

Metrorail's Riana Scott said: “In the main arrests were made for possession of illegal substances and illegal weapons. They [Rail Enforcement Unit] have, as anticipated, acted as a force multiplier joining our own protection services [and] the rail police.”

The Metrorail service is currently operating with less than 40 train sets while at least 88 are needed to run efficiently.

WATCH: Railway Enforcement Unit hits the tracks