Cop's killing raises doubts over Buxton army strategy
February 10, 2003
The killing of Police Constable Ronald Abel in Buxton last Monday has raised doubts about the capacity of the armed forces - particularly the army - to prevent criminal activities even in a heavily patrolled area.
The young man was murdered shortly after leaving his girlfriend's home having recently tendered his resignation out of fear. Abel was shot by one person in a gang of five and none of them was apprehended.
It is now being asked where the army and police patrols were at the time and why no efforts were made to immediately apprehend the perpetrators. The army in particular has had a heavy presence in the Buxton/Friendship area for a number of months now.
The young cop's body remained on the road three hours after he was shot. The police did not turn up on the scene as residents of Buxton continue to be hostile towards policemen. This situation has, on many occasions, forced the police to enter the village under the protection of the army.
The GDF maintains that it is supporting the police in the fight against crime. But in many instances, only ranks of the GDF are spotted on static patrols in the Buxton/Friendship area and according to one army official, at the time of Abel's shooting, the patrols were not in the vicinity.
"There are some static patrols, but there was no patrol in central Buxton (where the shooting occurred) at the time. Central Buxton is not considered a high crime area. It is south Buxton and on the public road that the incidents mostly occur and so the patrols are there", the officer said.
Since the start of the crime wave last year, 19 policemen and several other law enforcement agents have been murdered.