Untu calls for better crime intelligence to arrest CT train arsonists

The union joined with lobby group #UniteBehind to call out Prasa for failing to pro-actively deal with the situation.

FILE: Metrorail train fire at Cape Town Train Station. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The United National Transport Union (Untu) wants authorities to make better use of Crime Intelligence to get on top of continued arson attacks on Cape Town trains.

The union joined lobby group #UniteBehind to call out the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) for failing to pro-actively deal with the situation.

The latest arson attack destroyed 18 train carriages and led to Cape Town Train Station being closed temporarily. Two teenagers were arrested for that incident.

Untu believes Prasa is not using Crime Intelligence adequately in a bid to catch train arsonists and vandals.

Untu's Sonja Castens said: “The police are supposed to have informants in the community. Something needs to be done as there is a blatant attack in one province.”

The rail network is currently secured with the help of the Rapid Rail Police - a South African Police Service unit - Prasa protection services, and the Rail Enforcement Unit, which operates in Cape Town.

But #UniteBehind's Mmeli Dube said despite these interventions rail-related crime remains a problem.

“There has been crime and part of it we suspect that is internal because of the risk and problems at Prasa. That says a lot about Prasa security and cooperation with other state security agencies.”

Prasa responded to Eyewitness News saying that it's working with police on security matters and fighting crime on trains remains a top priority.