Police operation in Sophiatown leads to arrests of 19 people

(Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)
(Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

Increased police visibility in Sophiatown, Gauteng, has led to the arrest of 19 suspects for various offences.

Ten are facing charges of being in possession of drugs, three for domestic violence, one for pointing of a firearm, one for armed robbery, and four for theft and other crimes.

"Police are working hard to find drug manufacturing labs and drug lords supplying drugs in Sophiatown and surrounding areas," Captain Kay Makhubele said in a statement on Tuesday.

Members of the Tactical Response Teams, K9 units and detectives had been conducting around the clock operations in the area.

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This follows a visit by Police Minister Bheki Cele to the suburb in response to complaints by residents about gang violence.

"These operations have effectively contributed to a decline in violent crimes, especially where firearms have been used," Makhubele said.

"Members of the community are experiencing more police visibility, information about drug runners and users is regularly conveyed to the police."

The South African Police Services (SAPS) are expected to continue with operations throughout the festive season.

“As most people will be closing at work for holidays, police will also enforce the laws, especially illegal liquor outlets, and take a strong action against the sale of liquor to young people," he concluded.

The suspects will appear at the local magistrate's court soon.

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