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City’s K9s can’t be fooled<span><p><br>Over a 14-month period, the Metro Police K9 Unit recovered 15 330 units of drugs.</p><p>Nearly 60% of the narcotics was handed over to the South African Police Service as ‘abandoned’, meaning no arrests were made in these instances.</p><p>‘One of the tactics employed by drug dealers is to hide their stash in an empty field or crevices in the pavement and so forth, so the K9s recover the drugs, but there is no one to arrest as it is not found on a person or a property that can be linked to an individual. However, these operations and confiscations disrupt the supply chain, so all is not lost.</p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:871px;" /> </figure></span><span><p>‘We’ve also noticed a few other trends, which suggest that the dealers aren’t overly familiar with the abilities of our K9s. This includes hiding contraband inside vehicle engines, the dashboard and other panels in their vehicles. Just a few days ago, K9 Savage sniffed out R50 000 worth of cocaine that was hidden in the dashboard compartment of a vehicle,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.</p><p>The K9 Unit has also reported more and more instances of suspects trying to throw the dogs off the scent by hiding their stash with black pepper or other chemicals, and hiding drugs in trees as they believe that the dogs aren’t able to search in high places.</p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:938px;" /> </figure></span><span><p>‘The K9s are trained to focus on the smells they were trained to detect and their abilities are of such a nature that they cancel out all other scents, so it really is a colossal waste of time to try and fool our four-legged colleagues or their human handlers.</p><p>‘I recall an operation in Lavender Hill a few years ago, where suspects at a known drug outlet put a stash of drugs in a drain pipe on the property and then covered it with dog faeces, likely hoping that staff wouldn’t dare check, but they were wrong,’ added Alderman Smith. </p><p>The Metro Police K9 unit currently has 22 operational canines, 12 of which are used for narcotics detection, of which six specialise in the detection of explosives and four which focus on urban man trailing (missing persons).</p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:1069px;" /> </figure></span><p><br>The breeds in use include bloodhounds, pointer German shepherds, Dutch shepherds and several mixed-breed canines.</p><p>Between 1 July 2019 and 30 September 2020, the unit made 265 arrests, of which nearly 70% were drug-related. In addition, they confiscated the following:</p><ul><li><div style="text-align:left;">15 330 units of drugs, with mandrax the most common drug recovered</div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">R85 721 in cash </div></li><li><div style="text-align:left;">Seven firearms and imitation firearms and 52 rounds of ammunition</div></li></ul><p>During the hard COVID-19 lockdown, the K9s also played a crucial role on the frontline, conducting searches at roadblocks, instead of their handlers, and thus mitigating the risk of exposure to the virus. </p><p>‘Our K9 unit has really come a long way in its near eleven-year existence, and the value that they add cannot be underestimated. We will look to continue investing in the unit, and we are also immensely grateful for the contributions made towards its work by other spheres of government, as witnessed just a few days ago with the handover of two vehicles by the provincial government,’ added Alderman Smith. <br> </p><p><strong>End</strong><br> </p><span><strong></strong>​​</span><span>​​</span><span>​​</span>2020-10-24T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#6e80f05d-b46b-442b-be7d-d0ea470f2857;L0|#06e80f05d-b46b-442b-be7d-d0ea470f2857|dogs;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#633591e2-ed41-4816-9750-3d5f5090deda;L0|#0633591e2-ed41-4816-9750-3d5f5090deda|illegal activity;GP0|#4bcb251f-1166-4a1c-8ee5-d33721046dec;L0|#04bcb251f-1166-4a1c-8ee5-d33721046dec|law enforcement10

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