Police in the Overberg worked tirelessly throughout the festive season, executing various operations to ensure the safety of locals and visitors.
Their hard work paid off with more than 400 arrests for a range of crimes, including assault, murder and break-ins.“In addition to this,” said Brigadier Donovan Heilbron, “more than 460 suspects were arrested for possession of and dealing in drugs.“These successes are due to high police visibility and information received from community members.
Another important contributing factor is the good cooperation with the various law enforcement agencies such Overstrand, Theewaterskloof, Cape Agulhas and Swellendam’s Law Enforcement departments, provincial and local traffic and the Department of Environmental Affairs, Forestry and Fisheries.
”More than 80 motorists were also arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. The largest percentage of these arrests, said Heilbron, was made along the N2 near Grabouw. “We have noticed a tendency of stoning along the N2,” he said, “especially at Siyanyanzela, also known as Blikkiesdorp, in Grabouw. This occurs late at night or in the early morning hours.
"To address this problem I have engaged with Sanral [South African National Roads Agency Ltd] and other role-players to look at various solutions, including high mast lighting and surveillance cameras along this stretch of road.”
The Overberg Flying Squad and Provincial Traffic have also increased visibility on this route. “People can report incidents of stoning to our 24-hour Operations Room on 028 313 5300,” said Heilbron. The police confirmed there had been a decrease in house break-ins by 13%, while break-ins at non-residential premises, especially at spaza shops, had shown a small increase of 6%.
“The number of contact crimes, including murder, common assault and assault with intention to cause grievous bodily harm, has spiked. Alcohol and drug abuse is a huge contributing factor in these types of crime,” said Heilbron.“There has also been a slight increase in the number of murders and attempted murders, but we are happy to report that the arrest rate in these instances is extremely high.” Heilbron also thanked the public for the crucial role they played in terms of behaviour, especially concerning personal safety. “People seem to be more conscious of their own safety and this has led to a decrease in petty crimes,” he said. “A number of successes were also achieved as result of information received from the public. “We appeal to the communities to continue this trend and share information with us.”