Operation Safer Festive Season: 23 million people searched, over 40 000 arrested

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Karabo Ngoepe

JOHANNESBURG- Operation Safer Festive season has yielded positive results with at least 23 million people searched and over 40 000 arrested throughout the country.

Police minister Fikile Mbalula released the statistics on Tuesday in Johannesburg, also announcing that the operation would officially end on January 31 ahead of the launch of Operation Fiela.

“We have to date had police deployments and activities totalling just over 1 million. 23 million searches of persons, homes and vehicles have taken place to date. A total of 1 100 arrests were made over aggravated and armed robberies and just over 40 000 individuals were arrested on Fire Arms Control Act, Liquor Act, Second Hand Good Act,” said Mbalula.

He said police visited over 4000 alcohol-selling establishments and 540 arrests were made for rape and 61 for sexual assault. Child abuse cases saw 15 persons being arrested and 68 arrests for kidnapping.

“Law Enforcement issued 128 000 fines for traffic and liquor offences. We continue to see the reckless use of motor vehicles with 9 200 arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 2900 arrests were made on border security, these include undocumented persons, theft of livestock and motor vehicles. Police seized over 12 000 ammunition and about 700 explosives. A large quantity of illicit drugs was seized. These arrests include a large number of suspects in previous crimes that we had profiled mid-year,” Mbalula said.

He also spoke about the interventions in Glebelands where they opened a new satellite police station to quell the lawlessness and violence there. Mbalula said following an on-going probe into murders at the Glebelands Hostel, on December 6, KwaZulu-Natal Police officers arrested 4 men, one of whom was a Policeman.

The Hostel has been marred by violent crimes, including murder.

“The arrest comes a week after I launched a satellite police station, which took two months to put up. I want to thank the Mayor Gumede of eThekwini for her answering my request in assisting and donation of municipal property for use as a police station,” he said.

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