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Thousands arrested for various crimes as part of SAPS' Safer Festive Season operations

Jan 24, 2018
Thousands arrested for various crimes as part of SAPS' Safer Festive Season operations

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has taken stock of some of the achievements of the 2017 Safer Festive Season campaign, as it draws to a close on 31 January 2018.

A total of 23 million searches of persons, homes and vehicles have taken place to date. A total of 1 100 arrests were made in connection with aggravated and armed robberies, said the Minister in a statement.

Over 40 000 individuals were arrested for contravening the Fire-Arms Control Act, Liquor Act and Second Hand Goods Act.

Police visited over 4000 alcohol selling establishments. A total of 540 arrests were made for rape and 61 for sexual assault, child abuse cases saw 15 persons being arrested with 68 suspects arrested for kidnapping.

According to the Minister, law enforcement authorities issued 128 000 fines for traffic and liquor offenses.

“We continue to see reckless use of motor vehicles with 9 200 arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, 2 900 arrests made on border security, these include undocumented persons, theft of livestock and motor vehicles,” said Minister Mbalula.

Over R12 000 worth of ammunition and about 700 explosives were seized by police.

The Minister launched the Safer Festive Season campaign on 13 October 2017. He said 11 000 police personnel were deployed on a daily basis to specifically focus on festive season operations.

Breakthroughs in ongoing cases

The Minister said some of the arrests made during the festive season owe their success to the profiling of cases during the year.

He congratulated the Hawks, SAPS Crime Intelligence unit and Eastern Cape National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in successfully investigating and prosecuting Christopher Panayiotou, Sinethemba Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko murder of Jayde Panayiotou.

“This case proves that intelligence-led investigations, followed by careful docket preparation, always works,” said Minister Mbalula.

Crime Intelligence uncovers drug lab

The work of crime intelligence officials also led to the bust of a massive Tik manufacturing lab.

“In October 2017, an intelligence-driven joint operation between the Hawks’ South African Narcotics Enforcement Bureau (SANEB) and crime intelligence led to the discovery of the biggest Tik manufacturing lab in the history of the Eastern Cape.

“R30 million worth of Tik is believed to have been manufactured on the site,” said the Minister.

Satellite Stations lead to arrests

The newly opened satellite police station in Glebelands, KwaZulu-Natal has paved the way for arrests in long standing cases.

“We opened a new satellite police station to quell the lawlessness and violence there. Following an ongoing probe into murders at the Glebelands Hostel on the 6th of December 2017, KwaZulu Natal police officers arrested four men, one of whom is a policeman.

“The arrests came a week after I launched a satellite police station, which took two months to put up,” said the Minister.

He thanked the eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede for the donation of municipal property for use as a police station.

The Safer Festive Season campaign was underpinned by six pillars which included public safety, road safety enforcements and border security amongst others.

“It was based on high police visibility in targeted areas informed by crime & intelligence assessments,” said the Minister.

The focus areas of the campaign were:

  • Shopping and entertainment venues
  • Increased movement of large sums of money
  • Cash demand driving the sale of stolen goods
  • Increase in illegal liquor outlets
  • In-flux of visitors and tourists from inland provinces to coastal provinces
  • Increased traffic volume on all national routes
  • Movement of migrant workers across borders
  • Targeting of women and children, including other vulnerable groups
  • Heightened abuse of alcohol and illicit drugs
  • Youth having idle time out of school

SAnews.gov.za