KZN’s festive season crime blitz

2010-01-21 00:00

MORE than 49 000 people were arrested in KwaZulu-Natal over the festive season for crimes ranging from murder and armed robbery to rape, and 59 261 charges were laid against traffic law offenders.

In a statement released yesterday, KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Willies Mchunu said that a staggering 49 257 arrests were made by the police from December 1, 2009 to January 13, 2010.

Mchunu said arrests had been made for: murder, 955; attempted murder, 530; aggravated robbery, 1 324; house robbery and attempted robbery, 497; business robbery and attempted robbery, 92; public violence, 42; and rape, 1 222.

There were also 80 arrests for attempted rape; 123 for sexual assault; 377 for fraud; 4 595 for drug-related crimes; 6 445 for assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm; 3 840 for common assault; 330 for stock theft; and 1 300 for damage to property.

All other categories of theft and attempted theft arrests totalled 2 758.

Mchunu said 2 173 motorists were arrested for drunken driving, and 711 arrests were made for possession of illegal firearms. He said 1 814 firearms and 1 403 knives were confiscated.

“The police also recovered 1 283 stolen vehicles. A total of 11 898 illegal weapons were confiscated. This excludes 167 that were confiscated as a result of the current firearms amnesty, while 1 606 were handed in voluntarily. Large quantities of drugs, stolen property and liquor were seized during various operations. It is these figures that give us hope for a better future,” he said.

Mchunu said that during the festive period, a total of 314 506 vehicles were stopped at roadblocks throughout the province.

He said more 59 261 charges were laid against traffic law offenders, excluding the manual camera prosecutions.

“A total of 10 649 charges were recorded for exceeding the legal speed limit — and 937 motorists were caught for drunken driving. At least 72 speedsters were caught and arrested. Some 4 640 motorists were caught driving without valid drivers licences,” he said.

Mchunu said the province had 231 fatal crashes, in which 298 people lost their lives. Of these, 51 were drivers, 109 passengers, and 138 pedestrians, he said.

Mchunu said another element that contributed to the success of law enforcement over the festive season was the assistance of ordinary citizens and the department- aligned social crime prevention volunteers.

“Ordinary citizens gave our law enforcement agencies various tip-offs that led to the prevention of crime or arrests,” he said.

Volunteers were deployed in central Durban, on Durban beaches, at shopping malls, and at various banks and ATMs.

“As government, we have seen and heard the challenges of crime on and off the roads. The community also realises that the police cannot be everywhere and cannot win the war alone. Therefore, there is no more room to lament. This government will formally inaugurate a crime-fighting plan dubbed ‘Build a United Front Against Crime’,” said Mchunu.

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