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'Criminals will have nowhere to hide', Bheki Cele at launch of 2018 Safer Festive Season

By Afikile Lugunya - Nov 1, 2018
'Criminals will have nowhere to hide', Bheki Cele at launch of 2018 Safer Festive Season

Police Minister, Bheki Cele, on Thursday officially launched the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) 2018 Safer Festive Season Operations at Motherwell Stadium in Mothwerwell, Port Elizabeth.

Police units demonstrated to the community their readiness for the festive season and how they tackle crimes such as armed cash-in-transit heists and robberies, which increase in number as criminals target residents.

While delivering his keynote address, Cele said that over 128 cash-in-transit heist suspects have been arrested from 04 June 2018 to date.

He said that the police have been fully trained on how to deal with such crimes because when cash-in-transit heists occur, dangerous weapons are involved and people often die.

However, he doesn't want to see any police officer dying while conducting their duties and would rather see criminals losing their lives if it were to come to that.

"Police officers must arrest these cash-in-transit criminals while they are busy planning to steal money. We want to protect the community of South Africa. We want to be able to protect everyone in South Africa as the law enforcement of the South African Police Services," he said.

Festive season operations

Cele said that this coming festive season, criminals must go and hide "because we will not allow them to waste our oxygen”.

"There shall be no city or highway where there will be no roadblock."

He added that even those who don't pay taxes will also be found and arrested as the highway roadblocks will have all government departments and officials with scanners.

"Criminals must have restless and sleepless at night while all good citizens sleep peacefully."

He urged police officers to not be kind to women and children abusers.

"Don't chase any woman away, who says that they are being abused. Don't ask many questions just arrest the abusers; give these children and women a peaceful Christmas.”

To residents he urged them to report crimes instead of going around complaining that police are not doing their jobs.

"Let's work with the South African Police. Let's make sure that criminals and criminality has no space for corruption."

Cele wished everyone a Merry Christmas in advance.

Meanwhile the Eastern Cape Department of Transport MEC, Weziwe Tikana, urged municipalities to work together with the police to ensure the respect for by-laws.

"What worries us is the constant killing of people and the selling of drugs. Our municipalities must assist us with the by-laws. We have started a campaign to close down illegal taverns, we call that operation #saferFridays," she said

Speaking for the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Cllr Litho Suka, who is the MMC for Safety and Security, acknowledged the cooperation between the Metro police officers, Traffic officials and the SAPS.

"Our traffic cops and Metro police will not smile at anything that doesn't require a smile. Let's work together to train our Metro police.

"In certain areas of combating crimes, we have serious problems, for example areas like Kwazakhele, Helenvale, Gelvandale are the hotspots for crime, which the police officials have to focus on."

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