13 603 suspects were arrested in crime hotspots across the city over the recent festive season, part of the South African Police Services (SAPS) efforts to intensify crime prevention operations over the busy holiday period. The arrests formed part of a series of operations aimed at tackling crime and gang-related activity in Cape Town.
According to SAPS statistics, between December 16th and January 1st a total of 64 firearms and 7718 rounds of ammunition were confiscated by the police force, along with 8.4kg of tik (methamphetamine) and 1727kg of dagga.
“These are big numbers that our operational members achieved over the festive season, in all areas affected by crime,” said police spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut.
Over the festive period the police’s focus shifted to areas frequented by large numbers of people, including the city’s beaches, shopping malls and tourist attractions. Traut said SAPS had “dominated” its presence in such locations in order to clamp down on unruly and unlawful behaviour.
In addition, SAPS also conducted a series of raids on the Cape Flats in crime hotspots like Manenberg, Hanover Park, Steenberg, Grassy Park and Ottery. Operation Lockdown, as the initiative was dubbed, saw the national police force effectively shut down target areas in order to conduct searches for firearms and drugs, as well as trying to address gang and other related crimes.
“We choose a certain area according to our crime intelligence, we go in and dominate our presence to look for criminals and prevent crimes.
“We also conducted Operation Fiela, which is a highly successful operation where we also go into certain areas and look for criminals and firearms,” he explained.
Traut sought to reassure the public that the police’s efforts would not dwindle despite the festive season drawing to a close, assuring that campaigns like Operation Fiela would continue as per normal.
“Criminals will still feel the heat of our operations in the Western Cape now that the festive season is over. We have the schools opening soon and our operational members will still be highly active in crime affected areas,” he confirmed.
Anonymous tip offs to the police can be made via the Crime Stop line 086 001 0111. VOC