Drugs found hidden in sewerage pipe

2015-05-05 06:00
Law enforcement officers enter Frere Court in Lavender Hill during a crime prevention operation.

Chevon Booysen

Law enforcement officers enter Frere Court in Lavender Hill during a crime prevention operation. PHOTO: Chevon Booysen

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In an effort to curb crime in the South Peninsula, law enforcement agencies conducted operations in Lavender Hill and Ottery on Tuesday last week.

Various patrols and searches were conducted focusing on crime prevention.

The operation included the execution of search warrants at known drug outlets, high density patrols by the City of Cape Town’s gang enforcement teams and individual searches and seizures.

Law enforcement also focused on potential problem buildings as well as illegal spaza shops and other outlets serving as fronts for criminal activity.

A raid on a known drug house in Lavender Hill saw officers firing four rubber rounds after the occupants refused them entry and tried to set several pit bulls on the officers.

Officers eventually broke the lock with a crowbar to gain entry to the premises and found a makeshift dagga-growing laboratory, an unconfirmed amount of money, as well as hundreds of plastic packets used for packaging drugs.

Four suspects were taken into custody on charges of cultivating dagga.

JP Smith, Mayoral committee member for safety and security, says the suspects tried to hamper the search on the property by hiding drugs in a sewerage pipe.

“The suspects tried to stash a scale and some tik in a sewerage pipe outside and mask it with dog excrement to keep our staff from searching the pipe. The incident with the dogs is something we are starting to see more and more where they either use the animals as a delay tactic while they flush the drugs or to try to intimidate our staff,” Smith says.

He adds the operation is part of a broader enforcement strategy and will be enforced in other communities as well.

“[The operation] was predicated by concerns around a flare-up of tensions in Lavender Hill. Similar operations in areas like Hanover Park and Manenberg have yielded very positive results, but have also bolstered public confidence to the point where we are seeing more and more members of the public coming forward with useful information about criminal activity,” he adds.

Metro police made more than 2 000 drug-related arrests last year.

City law enforcement agencies also confiscated 82 firearms and 1 067 ammunition rounds last year.

“These statistics are impressive, considering that the City only controls 3% of policing resources, including Metro police, traffic services and our law enforcement department. Many of the drug- and firearm-related arrests came as a result of our interventions in gang hotspots and bear testimony to the hard work that our staff are putting in. If not for our firearm confiscations, who’s to say how many more people might have been on the receiving end of a bullet,” Smith said

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