Christmas baddies beware!

2011-11-10 00:00

OVER 28 000 officers will be keeping a watchful eye on KwaZulu-Natal this festive season in a joint operation between the police and all other law enforcement agencies.

A total of 25 000 police officers, 2 800 metro police, 125 Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) officials, 117 transport special unit members, 234 emergency medical rescue services, 44 home affairs officials and 120 South African Revenue Services investigators will be strategically positioned throughout the province.

This was revealed by provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonye Ngobeni during the launch of the “festive season operation plan” at the Mega City shopping centre in Umlazi, south of Durban, yesterday.

Beaches and shopping malls are some of the strategic positions because they are popular targets of criminals during the festive season.

The national plan was launched last month and KZN began the roll-out on Tuesday evening in Umlazi, KwaMashu and KwaNdengezi in the Durban area.

It continued yesterday morning with police staging roadblocks in various parts of Durban.

From Tuesday evening until yesterday morning 483 people had been arrested for crimes including robbery, car hijacking, house robbery, possession of unlicensed firearms and illegal dealing in liquor, with three firearms and 17 stolen motor vehicles recovered.

In KwaNdengezi a house owner was arrested after he had failed to account for motor vehicle parts that were found in his house.

Police believe the house was used as a warehouse for stolen vehicles that had been stripped.

Ngobeni said, “It is important that the communities work with the police.

“Parents should take precautions when visiting the city’s crowded areas, including the beaches where many children get lost and as a result get exposed to criminals,” she said.

“Our police have adopted a zero tolerance approach to crime and police visibility will be increased to prevent crimes against women and children, as well as to reduce serious and violent crimes in the province.”

Ngobeni disclosed that as part of the joint operation the police have launched “Project 1 000” in which 1 000 of the most dangerous criminals are being sought for various crimes.

“The success of the project lies with the co-operation between the communities and the police.

“We are planning to pull out all the stops to bring these criminals to book. However, this project doesn’t mean that other criminals are off the hook,” said Ngobeni.

She said the operation will also monitor the COP 17 conference on climate change starting in Durban at the end of November as delegates from all over the the world descend on the city.

Umlazi community members welcomed the initiative, but some said hard-core criminals continue to terrorise the area, especially car hijackers.

Zwe Dube said that while there is police visibility, criminals continue with their acts.

“It’s strange because we have police everywhere in our area, but cars get hijacked, victims are either shot or stabbed to death.

“If we as a community can be vigilant and work together with the police, maybe we can see a decline in these crimes,” said Dube.


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