Foreign cops to assist in SA
Johannesburg - Police officers from 27 of the 31 participating countries in the World Cup, besides South Africa, will join local security forces in providing security for the event, police officials said on Wednesday.
Brigadier Sally de Beer said the officers were already in the country and would be deployed both in uniform and in plain clothes, within and outside the various stadiums on match days.
"These police officials will perform non-executive tasks - that is, without the power of arrest - but will be of great assistance to the SAPS, especially in terms of liaising with their country's fans and identifying any form of disruptive behaviour," she said.
The local security forces' National Joint Operational Centre (Natjoc) became fully operational just after midnight on Wednesday.
De Beer said this centre, housing representatives of the police force, SA National Defence Force, metro police, intelligence agencies and several members of various government departments, was situated at an undisclosed military base in Pretoria.
"With the most sophisticated technology at their disposal ... [they] began their 24-hourly deployment on Wednesday morning, which will continue for the next eight weeks," she said.
De Beer said the centre would command all security operations relating to the tournament, including close protection of all 32 teams as well as the FIFA delegation and heads of state.
It would also be tasked with keeping an eye on policing at ports of entry, route security, inner city security, stadium security, air and maritime defence and general crime prevention.
The centre would be co-ordinated by the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure, with the police force serving as the lead department.
De Beer said representatives from various neighbouring countries in the southern African region had also arrived to give their support. They would operate from the International Police Co-operation Centre in Pretoria.