1 000 crimes committed at Cup venues

2010-07-15 13:43

Just under 1 000 crimes were reported in and around the country’s

stadiums on match days during the World Cup, Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa

said today.

The majority of these were thefts and muggings, Mthethwa

said.

A total of 704 incidents took place outside the stadiums while 290

occurred inside.

Mthethwa said: “We have specifically looked at crime levels during

the tournament within a 1.5km radius of certain venues.”

Some 1 788 crimes were reported in and around fanparks, which saw

about 1.2 million fans in attendance on match days.

The minister said: “We must agree that these figures are very

heartening and reflect exceptionally well on the security forces and the people

of South Africa.”

He cautioned that the figures were incidents reported to police and

not all of them would necessarily have resulted in a case docket being

opened.

Of the 1 002 dockets opened, 558 cases were finalised with the

remainder still being investigated.

Mthethwa said police arrested 447 people, 181 of whom were foreign

nationals and 266 were South Africans.

Some of those foreign nationals had already been sentenced for up

to 15 years.

National Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele said: “If they’ve

only been here for 25 days, God help them,” emphasising that visible policing

would continue across the country.

A total of 44 000 police were deployed around the country during

the World Cup.

With the World Cup over, police have shifted their focus back to

safeguarding South African citizens against crime.

Mthethwa said they were determined to take the best practices and

lessons learned forward to safeguard citizens and visitors in the future: “The

phenomenon of crime will always be attacked head-on. The stance taken in

fighting crime is that we will fight smartly.”

He said equipment acquired for the World Cup would benefit ongoing

policing.

Mthethwa said it was important that communities and visitors had

repeatedly indicated that they felt safe during the tournament as they moved

around the country at all hours.

Cele said they had no intention of withdrawing police officers

deployed in the host cities.

“We intend to keep the numbers of police there.” He said the number

of police officers was expected to increase by 200 000 in the 2011/12 period.


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