Syndicates involved in organised crime like gangsterism, drug trafficking and armed robbery are knowledgeable to orchestrate crimes. The importance of having insight into the network of crime syndicates was highlighted by Lt Gen. Moeketsi Sempe, Free State police commissioner.Sempe briefed the media on the strides law enforcement agencies make through provincial joint operations and intelligence. The briefing given on Monday, 3 September, reflected on achievements for August. Sempe said the Organised Crime Threat Assessment (Octa) focuses on organised crime.This resulted in the arrest of three high-profile armed robbers in Bloemfontein and the confiscation of weapons. Sempe said law enforcement agencies in the Free State, through a multi-disciplinary structure against the rampant crime, were yielding positive results. Results include the arrest of some of the wanted armed robbery syndicates, and the long-term sentencing of perpetrators by different courts in the province. Sempe attributed strides made to the provincial joint operation and intelligence structure, which consists of several government departments and agencies. He said the law enforcement operation had also proven effective with regards to the arrest of syndicates involved in armed robbery, cash-in-transit heists and drug trafficking operating accross the borders between South Africa and Lesotho.Cross-border crime include the theft of vehicles, stock theft, drug trafficking and the illegal movement of undocumented persons. Sempe said cross-border operations had led to the discovery of unlicensed firearms, an undisclosed amount of cash and supplements believed to be used during armed robberies and cash-in-transit heists. He said the investigation involved finding the origin of weapons syndicates use during the commission of the crimes as armed robbery and cash-in-transit heists. “Through our investigations we have established that organised crime syndicates are professionals and are experts in shooting. “They do not recruit anyone into their teams,” said Sempe.He said the joint crime fighting measures prioritised violent crime which is threatening the stability and safety in the province. While recognising that more concerted means were needed to break the backbone of organised crime in the province, Sempe remained resilient about effectively rooting out all forms of brutal crime in line with Vision 2030 of the National Development Plan. He said the objective of the plan was meant to, among others things, ensure that by 2030 every citizen in South African feel safe at home, school and work. “They must enjoy a community life free of fear,” said Sempe. He pointed out that notorious rival gangsters were threatening safety and security. Rival gangster activities were reported to be rife in the Mangaung Metro’s township of Botshabelo, JB Mafora and Caleb Motshabi in Bloemfontein.