Crime busters go big

2014-11-17 00:00

IN a synchronised high density crime operation, members of the police cracked down on crime in Pietermaritzburg on Friday and Saturday nights.

Cold wind and sleeting rain did little to deter over 150 police and external law enforcement members from the Mountain Rise, Loop Street and Alexandra stations as they hit various parts of the city.

Teams patrolled crime hotspots, nabbing drug dealers and closing down illegal shebeens ahead of the festive season. With recoveries of stolen property, drugs and alcohol valued at over R153 000, a total of 73 arrests were made over the two nights.

The Loop Street department yielded the most arrests, arresting 40 criminals while the Mountain Rise force confiscated R113 000 worth of liquor, drugs and stolen property.

Suspects held their heads down as they were marched in through the doors of the three stations with charge sheets filling up as both nights progressed. They were apprehended for, among others, charges of rape, prostitution, murder, drug possession and theft.

The police warehouses also rapidly filled up with stolen property — from television sets, kitchen appliances and computers to knives and illegal firearms.

Warrant Officer Joshua Maistry explained how the operation commenced.

“The operation is based on crime intelligence and careful planning. It’s simple. We get out, nab the criminals, bring them in, charge them, fill in the paperwork and get back onto the streets. There’s no time to play games,” he said.

In one incident, both the son and wife of a notorious drug dealer were arrested at their home in Jinnah Road during a major drug bust on Saturday night.

Police stormed into the Northdale house and swooped up the assailants while raiding the property for drugs. Along with liquor, they recovered rock cocaine, Mandrax and ecstasy with a street value of about R10 000.

Six illegal shebeens were shut down by the Mountain Rise team.

But it was not only the hardened criminals who felt the might of the police force. Shaun Marais, chairperson of the SAPS Youth Desk, spotted street children sniffing glue on the corner of Khan and Greytown Road.

He swiftly rounded up the boys and began to counsel them in the middle of the street about the harmful effects of drugs and the effects on their lives.

Pietermaritzburg police Cluster Commander Brigadier Francis Bantham extended her gratitude and congratulated members involved in the operation.

“They took the town by storm and they were really on form. We need to rid the community of crime and drugs with the hope that one day people can walk freely on the street without fear.”


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