Officer in hot water

A City Law Enforcement officer is being investigated after a Central City Improvement District (CCID) security guard saw him allegedly steal a phone.

The incident took place in Keerom Street, however, the date could not be verified.

The security guards, who are contracted by the CCID, spoke to the CapeTowner on condition of anonymity.

According to the guards, the incident took place on Monday April 17 during their night shift, when one of them saw a City Law Enforcement officer with a handbag. One of the guards said he suspected that a robber dropped the bag and fled the scene.

“The Law Enforcement officer went through the bag and found a phone. He then removed the phone from the bag and hid it inside his pocket and walked off with the bag.”

The security guards, who work in pairs, said when the bag was recovered and returned to the owner, there was no phone inside, and a case of theft was opened the next day at the Central police station. The guards said the incident was captured on the body-worn video cameras, which all the CCID guards use while on duty.

The guard on duty said he called his managers at the CCID to report the incident, but claims he was told to keep quiet about the incident .

The CCID’s safety and security manager, Muneeb Hendricks, said they are aware of the incident, however, it happened in the early hours of Sunday March 5.

“Two of our public safety officers reported the alleged theft by one of the EPWP City Law Enforcement officers to one of our CCID night managers, who immediately asked both officers to put a report in writing, as is standard practice.

“As this was a serious allegation, the report was then escalated immediately to the principal inspector at the City in charge of the EPWP (Expanded Public Works Programme) officers.

At this point, it became a City investigation and has in turn been escalated to the City’s corruption unit.”

He also dismissed allegations that the security guard was threatened with his job and that he was asked to keep the incident quiet, adding that no one was dismissed or working out their notice period – “not our night manager, nor anyone at our service provider”.

Mr Hendricks also said there was no footage recorded of the incident.

The City of Cape Town’s executive director, Richard Bosman, said he was made aware of the incident over the weekend, and it is being investigated by the City’s Special Investigations Unit.

However, they had not responded to detailed questions about the incident, or whether or not the Law Enforcement officer was still on duty.

An interview requested by the CapeTowner with JP Smith, the City’s mayco member for safety and security, also went unanswered.

The security guard, whose statement was allegedly taken at the Law Enforcement offices in Bellville, is now waiting to receive information about the case. It was not confirmed whether the phone was returned to the owner, or whether the Law Enforcement officer had been suspended pending the investigation.