Buya Mthetho: Joint operations prove to be a winning formula for fighting crime in Gauteng as more than 530 suspects get arrested overnight.

PARKTOWN: Joint intelligence driven operations across Gauteng are proving to be a winning formula for tackling crime in Gauteng as criminals begin to feel the intensity of these operations by the integrated law enforcement agencies, towards stamping the authority of the State.

On Thursday 14 February 2019, four male suspects from Tembisa aged between 29 and 53 were arrested after members from Ekurhuleni Metro Police tracing unit collaborated with the South African Police Service in Ekurhuleni West, operationalising information they had received about a planned truck hijacking in Wychood, Primrose. The members stopped two suspicious vehicles and recovered three jamming devices, a balaclava, a military bulletproof vest and trousers, blue lights, two false number plates, rifle- and pistol-ammunition.

Following that arrest, overnight operations were conducted across the Province on Thursday and Friday. On Thursday night alone, more than 530 suspects who feature on the police's wanted list were successfully traced and arrested during raids conducted by the Detectives. The suspects were arrested for crimes that include: murder and attempted murder; rape; hijacking; possession of unlicensed firearms; possession of drugs; assault with intention to cause grievous bodily harm; contempt of court; contravention of court order; theft; house robbery; business burglary; robbery with firearm; domestic violence; contravention of protection order; malicious damage to property; kidnapping; and pointing of firearm.

Friday night integrated operations in Sunnyside, Pretoria focused on roadblocks, stop-and-search operations, liquor outlet raids, drugs, property crime, and by-law enforcement. Litres of liquor were confiscated with at least two taverns closed down and fines issued to non-compliant operators; while six suspects were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. Eleven wanted suspects were arrested during the Detective raids.

In relation to the fight against drugs, the partnership with the community has proven to be fruitful with five suspects getting arrested for dealing with and for possession of drugs. In the first case, police operationalised information received about suspects selling drugs to university students in Yeoville, Johannesburg East. Three suspects who live in Melville were arrested following an intelligence-driven operation conducted on Friday, 15 February 2019 where an unconfirmed amount of drugs and cash were found in their possession. In the second operation, a community member alerted the Provincial Commissioner of drug dealing in Snake Park, Dobsonville. The information was operationalised and a suspect arrested after drugs were found hidden in a shack. Moffatview Police also arrested a suspect for possession of drugs after responding to information from the public.

The critical role played by the K9 and the Tactical Response Teams in the fight against drugs has been acknowledged and is appreciated by management.

This certainly comes as a confidence-booster to our dedicated members from all the law enforcement agencies, who willingly work tirelessly, for extended hours during these operations. It is definitely our communities who stand to benefit from the successes of such operations; and, together with the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), the respective Metro Police Departments in Gauteng, Provincial Traffic, and all other government departments, community patrollers, and the public, we can break the back of the criminal world and bring down the volumes of crime, cited the new Provincial Commissioner of Gauteng, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela on commending the commanders and members for the operational successes.

The public is encouraged to continue to report crime, anonymously if they so wish, by contacting the nearest police station or calling the toll-free 10111 or Crime Stop number 08600 10111.

Source: South African Police Service