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Crime fighting concept to be exported to other provinces after success in PE

Jul 24, 2017
Crime fighting concept to be exported to other provinces after success in PE

The Deputy Minister of Police, Bongani Mkongi, on Monday officiated at the formal handing over of the Mount Road Cluster Operational Command Centre (OCC) to the Provincial Commissioner of the Eastern Cape, Lieutenant General Liziwe Ntshinga.

The hand over follows the launch in March 2016 of a national police intervention aimed at countering gangster-related crime and violence in Port Elizabeth's Northern suburbs of Gelvandale and Bethelsdorp. The intervention was dubbed Operation Lockdown.

"Operation Lockdown introduced a focused six-month intervention, aimed at winning the trust of the community while, at the same time, clamping down on gang-related activities such as drug dealing, intimidation, violent crime including murder and attempted murder, and the proliferation of unlicensed firearms," described Eastern Cape police spokesperson, Maj Gen Sally de Beer.

"The Mount Road Cluster implemented and piloted the OCC concept during this period which focused on intelligence-led policing.

"The OCC is the point from which intelligence-led crime prevention and combatting operations are initiated, coordinated and monitored at all levels."

She said that the OCC concept was established to sustain operations and crime combating initiatives with the aim of effecting reduction over the entire crime spectrum and the restoration of trust in the SAPS through the following imperatives:

  • Enhanced command and control
  • Effective coordination and accountability
  • Total situational awareness
  • Enhanced operational and tactical planning
  • Focused intelligence-led policing
  • Implementation and maintenance of the SAPS’s ideology of crime combating and frontline service delivery
  • Maintenance of inclusive detection practices encompassing full crime scene management practices, coordination of investigations, prosecution-led investigations, optimisation of forensic leads, case and offender analysis and profiling, analysis-informed suspect tracing, identification of organised crime trends and threats, and analysis informed bail opposition and sentence aggravation testimony
  • Enhanced incident response
  • Enhance Public Order Policing activation and coordination.

"At the end of September 2016, the success of Operation Lockdown, the effective establishment of the Mount Road Cluster OCC and the downward trend in certain crime categories in the target areas, led to the withdrawal of the national police intervention although National Management Intervention continued to be available in an advisory capacity," said Maj Gen de Beer.

"The Cluster OCC concept is being rolled out to all Provinces and has so far already been officially launched in the Blue Downs Cluster in the Western Cape and the Johannesburg Central Cluster in Gauteng.

"We anticipate that the next two launches will be in eThekwini in KwaZulu-Natal and Rustenburg in the North West. Before the end of this year, it is anticipated that the roll-out to all provinces will be complete."

She said that Monday's hand over is symbolic of the Department of Police's appreciation that the Cluster and Province has embraced and sustained the concept.

"The Research Division of the South African Police Service has validated the OCC concept and Mount Road Cluster has progressed from being the pilot Cluster to being a fully operational OCC," she added.

"Between Thursday and Monday morning, intelligence-led crime combatting operations were conducted in the Cluster and the Deputy Minister has expressed his appreciation for the significant successes achieved," described Maj Gen de Beer.

"In total, 307 arrests were effected, eight firearms were recovered and various drugs were seized."