22 May 2009
The French Gendarmerie and French National Police have partnered with the South African Police Service (SAPS) to train local officers in crowd control ahead of the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup.
Twelve French police officials are presently in the country to assist with training at five SAPS training centres, and will remain in South Africa until after the Confederations Cup.
The French Police will use the experience they gained in ensuring safety and security during large scale events such as the 1998 Fifa World Cup.
SAPS operations and tactical training head Senior Superintendent Faizel Ally said the French team had been of great assistance during the simulated exercises at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium this week.
He said their assistance has being invaluable, as the SAPS had now adopted the French methodology in crowd control.
French police commissioner Philippe Justo said they had been working hard with the SAPS to prepare for the Confederations Cup.
“We have being sharing ideas on how to handle unruly crowds in the environment of the stadium,” Justo said. “We had successfully handled this type of situation with the tactics that we used in the Fifa World Cup that we hosted before in France.”
He added that he was confident that the training they had conducted would contribute to the hosting of a successful tournament.