Dogs to the rescue - the Pet Food Industry Association (PFI) applauds Cape Town for their investment in training dogs for the Drug Dog Unit.
Cape Town to Spend R10m On Drug Dog Unit
Sapa - Wednesday, 15 April 2009
The City of Cape Town is to spend more than R10 million over the next two years on setting up a unit of specialised drug-sniffing dogs.
The city already has its own "Drug Busters" narcotics unit. Properly trained dogs would help the unit to work more efficiently by quickly tracking down illegal substances, unit spokesman councillor Glen Kleinsmith said on Tuesday.
"This is especially important now that dealers have become very creative when it comes to concealing drugs," he said in a statement.
The dogs would be used at roadblocks, in searches of council rental stock houses used as drug outlets, and in "integrated enforcement operations" with other law enforcement agencies such as the SA Police Services.
Kleinsmith said the city aimed to have 20 trained dogs and handlers deployed to clamp down on drug dens and dealers by 2010. This would be expanded to 30 dogs and handlers by 2011.
City mayor Helen Zille said there had been a five-fold increase in drug-related crime in Cape Town over the past seven years.
"[It] is one of the biggest social crises we face as a city," she said. "Already at least 80 percent of crime in this city is somehow linked to drug and substance abuse."