PLETTENBERG BAY NEWS - Once a month, Plettenberg Bay crime fighters hone their skills through simulation exercises to keep them on their toes, and they recently undertook a massive exercise involving a farm attack.
"We do exercises every week, but once a month we orchestrate a big simulation exercise and involve all role players," said Plettenberg Bay Crime Prevention Association (PBCPA) operations head Otto Olivier.
Exercises they have done in the past, he said, have varied from hijackings to robberies, but this time they did a farm attack simulation which had them call on all their resources – from neighbourhood watch groups and the PBCPA rapid response unit to their canine unit and medical personnel.
Making it 'as real as possible'
"Everyone knew something was going to happen, but nobody had any details. This helps to make it as real as possible and helps us prepare for any situation," Olivier said.
Plett Watch's Marius Venter set the scene up on a farming area in Uplands before the call went out. "We do this so that we can practise responding without disturbing the crime scene and evidence."
The call came through last Thursday evening informing them that several shots had been fired on an Uplands farm. "The call came from a woman who managed to escape the attack. We were told that an unknown number of men stormed the house and that the woman's husband and daughter were still inside."
Blank shots fired
To make the simulation seem even more real, those involved fired blank shots.
When the responders arrived they managed to secure the scene and arrest three people. A fourth suspect fled in the homeowners' vehicle.
"Our medics treated the victims. Unfortunately, one had been 'fatally injured'. The rest of our role players set off to look for the vehicle. Thanks to good communication between our various neighbourhood watch members, the vehicle was spotted and tracked until responders could stop the vehicle and arrest the suspect."
"The training always helps to identify areas of concern as well as raise public awareness."
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