Free State police claim more Operation Fiela success

2015-07-03 20:20
Nielen de Klerk, News24

Nielen de Klerk, News24

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Bloemfontein - Free State police have arrested 481 people in the past week during Operation Fiela.  

“Operation Fiela continues to ensure criminals have no space to hide in the Free State,” spokesperson Colonel Motantsi Makhele said in a statement.

The suspects were arrested for crimes including robbery, drugs, being in the country illegally and for having warrants of arrest out against them.

Brigadier Billy Jones said the operation had resulted in a noticeable decrease in crime in the Free State.

“The statistics show a definite decline in the areas of concern we have identified. We realise it is only a short-term success at the moment, but [we] will keep measuring our results over the long-term.”

Operation Fiela began after South Africa's xenophobic attacks, with the government explaining it was in response to pleas by people to reduce crime in their areas.

Its focus includes drugs, contraband, undocumented migrants, human trafficking and prostitution, hijacked and condemned buildings, illegal possessions of firearms and ammunition, illegal land occupations and possession of illegal goods.

Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) approached the High Court in Pretoria last month to have aspects of the operation declared unlawful and unconstitutional. On June 23, the court rejected the LHR's bid to have the matter heard urgently.

LHR believes the operation was primarily an immigration clampdown and was conducted without proper authorisation.

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  crime

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