Top cop promises more police visibility during festive season

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National police commissioner General Fannie Masemola promises a safer festive season. Photo: GCIS
National police commissioner General Fannie Masemola promises a safer festive season. Photo: GCIS


National police commissioner Fannie Masemola has promised intensive police visibility and several focused operations throughout the festive season. 

Masemola, who was addressing members of the media on Friday, said police would continue to intensify the fight against crime through integrated crime-prevention and crime-combatting operations throughout the country. 

He added:

Our apex priority remains the wellbeing and safety of residents and tourists alike during and beyond this period. Our safer festive season operations, which are already in full swing, are characterised by heightened crime awareness campaigns, foot, vehicle and air-support patrols, stop and searches, arrests, vehicle checkpoints and roadblocks.

Masemola said maximum resources have already been deployed as they seek to assert the authority of the state, regain public confidence and ensure that communities are and feel safe and secure. 

“Through our national joint operational and intelligence structure, we have identified six focus areas which we are prioritising during this festive period. All our provinces are conducting operations in line with the national policing strategy,” he said. 

Masemola added priorities included gender-based violence and femicide as police continued tracking and tracing wanted suspects. 

READ: School premises are turning into crime scenes, says Bheki Cele

“As an organisation, we remain committed to ensuring the safety of women, children and vulnerable groups, not only during these 16 days but throughout the year. Our second focus area focuses on intensifying efforts to combat aggravated robberies, such as cash-in-transit heists, ATM bombings, carjacking and robberies at residential and business premises. We all know that this period is characterised by an abundance of cash and an influx of people at shopping centres and malls. This is the time where people share money and their hard-earned savings, but it is also a period where criminals pounce on these unsuspecting victims to rob them of their belongings,” he said. 

The commissioner said their other focus was enhancing border security.

“We have been intensifying our search operations at the borders where we are focusing on preventing and combatting human and drug trafficking, as well as illegal crossings. The fourth focus area looks into the enforcement of legislation to decisively address the proliferation of illegal firearms, second-hand goods and liquor enforcement,” he detailed. 

Masemola said the compliance inspections at establishments that sell liquor, including taverns, shebeens and night clubs were being intensified to ensure compliance with relevant legislation, including the trading hours. 

The fifth area focuses on the enforcement of by-laws targeting hijacked buildings, destruction of essential infrastructure, extortion and unlawful sale and the use of firecrackers. The sixth focus area looks into road safety, where we are jointly conducting roadblocks and vehicle checkpoints together with the metro police departments, as well as provincial and national traffic police.
he said.

Masemola said 141 541 suspects have been arrested and charged with contact crimes, including murder, attempted murder and sexual offences.  

According to recent crime statistics, there was also a sharp increase in murder, sexual offences, attempted murder, assault GBH, common assault, and robbery. Figures also revealed that over 13 000 women were victims of assault GBH between July and September 2022.  

Other crimes that recorded increases included carjacking and robbery at residential and non-residential premises. There were over 6 000 carjackings reported to the police from July to September 2022. Kidnappings have also doubled nationally with over 4 000 counts reported to the police. 

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