South Africa, Durban – A Private Security Company from Chatsworth is expected to appear in the Chatsworth Magistrate’s Court on Monday on charges relating to the Firearms Control Act.
His arrest comes two months after police launched the Eyes and Ears Initiative (E2), an official joint crime-fighting initiative, with the private security industry.
According to Durban Metro police spokesperson Parboo Sewpersad, a joint raid with the SAPS was conducted on three premises, the Siyaya Security offices, the owner’s home and that of his supervisor in Shallcross on Friday.
Police had received intelligence reports that the company was non-compliant with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSiRA). Sewpersad said the report claimed that the company owner allegedly carried an unlicensed firearm while attending to armed response call-outs.
Further, he allegedly drove vehicles for security purposes without number plates and some of his security vehicles were fitted with police sirens and blue lights. The report alleged that he was in possession of a police radio, which he would keep in his vehicle, listen to and dispatch his company vehicles to attend.
The report alleged that he also operated “legally” in the presence of senior police officers from Chatsworth SAPS.
His armed response officers were found to be in possession of gas guns (toys), risking their lives when attending to armed response call-outs.
“During the raid, police confiscated items including a rifle, an unlicensed firearm, ammunition, police radio and blue lights,” Sewpersad confirmed.
The confiscated firearms will be sent for ballistics testing to check if they had been used in any prior crimes. The owner was charged at the Chatsworth SAPS.
The report stated that PSiRA inspectors, who gathered their evidence, (photos, videos, and documentation) months in advance, would finalise a legal process of the shutdown of the non-compliant security service provider.
PSiRA spokesperson Siziwe Zuma could not be reached for comment.
Sewpersad confirmed that the city’s metro police had inspected the owner’s vehicles for police sirens.
“I commended all the role-players involved in the raid. Certain security companies are driving around flashing blue lights. They are allowed to have white lights only. We will continue with integrated joint operations to deal with other security companies,” Sewpersad said.
A source said the raid was overdue and underlined the deep-rooted corruption at the Chatsworth police station. Chatsworth Community Policing Forum chairperson Jakes Singh said the matter into how the company was in possession of a police radio was under investigation.
“Scanners that pick up the police frequency are bought over the counter by medical and collision response companies. With regard to allegations of corruption, the CPF welcomes any investigations into wrongdoings.
“The police conduct joint awareness campaigns with various security companies. Siyaya in my opinion was doing a splendid job in Chatsworth especially on Hans Dettman Highway where criminals were robbing motorists,” Singh said.
Business Against Crime SA provincial chairperson Naeem Rahiman said the E2 was launched in October and that all security companies underwent a vetting process.
“These companies co-operate with the SAPS by relaying information directly to the Provincial Operational Command Centre and in some instances, receiving such relevant information directly from it,” he said.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo said the E2 concept saw the private security industry as a force multiplier.
He said one of the project’s core objectives is to enhance the situational awareness of the SAPS by using the private security industry’s geographical deployment footprint for the sharing of information in a bid to reduce crime in the country.