Pretoria - The South African Police Service (SAPS) officially launched its nationwide campaign for a safer festive season on Friday in Seshego in the Limpopo province.“The festive season is a time when most people take time off work to relax and spend time with their families. Unfortunately, it is also during this time that opportunistic criminals may prey on unsuspecting victims and accidents on our roads increase alarmingly,” police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said.He said police had put together a comprehensive operational plan to mitigate the threats of criminality in general, as well as addressing road safety.He said the plan entailed the deployment of highly visible, multi-disciplinary, law enforcement teams that will focus on various critical areas.These include addressing aggravated armed robberies such as house robberies, business robberies and vehicle hi-jacking; enforcing various legislation such as the Firearm, Liquor, Second-Hand Goods and Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Acts; targeting crimes against women, children and vulnerable persons; enforcing by-laws such as those focusing on hijacked buildings and the unlawful sale of fire crackers; enforcing road safety, such as drunken driving, speeding, driving of unroadworthy vehicles; enhancing border security to search for stolen property as well as drugs and human trafficking. “To achieve these objectives there are multiple intelligence-driven and high visibility operations at all identified areas, which have already begun,” he said. “These operations will include regular vehicle and foot patrols, roadblocks, cordon and search operations and the tracing of wanted suspects.”Naidoo said the police already had the commitment of various critical stakeholders including the national and provincial road traffic departments and other government departments from the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster. “The support of all persons in South Africa cannot be overemphasized, by upholding the law and behaving responsibly, by providing information on crime and reporting all crimes as they happen,” he said. Naidoo said the last festive season had seen significant successes with more than 700 000 operations conducted in which 83 479 persons were arrested. “We will also ensure that there will be heightened police visibility in areas where large numbers of our communities gather during the holidays, such as shopping centres and malls, the beaches and other tourist destinations,” he said.