Police in the Eastern Cape have made 1 250 arrests since last week in an intensified effort to eradicate lawlessness and to improve the safety of citizens.
In a statement, spokesman Captain Khaya Tonjeni said 300 arrests were for contact crimes like theft from a motor vehicle, robbery, assault, and property crimes. Twenty one suspects were arrested for murder, 143 for assault GBH and 25 suspects for rape and were expected to appear in various courts in the province throughout the week.
“Drugs and alcohol abuse are one of the key contributors in the commission and increase of crime, therefore police have a responsibility to monitor compliance to alcohol trade and eradicating the illegal manufacture of alcohol and drugs including peddling of drugs within our communities. In addition to 57 liquor trading outlets were visited and 23 were found to be not complying fully to the liquor trade license regulations. ”
Police searched 195 people for drugs and dangerous weapons and recovered 233 dangerous weapons that included knives, axes, homemade swords and knobkieries.
Drugs were seized, including 309 dagga plants which were uprooted, 75grams of cocaine, 100grams of crack cocaine and a kilogram of khat.
“The fight against proliferation of illegal weapons and ammunition was also boosted with arrest of 150 suspects for illegal possession of firearms (17) and ammunition (123). The weapons included three homemade guns, 11 revolvers, three rifles and 123 units of ammunition. All confiscated firearms will be sent for ballistic tests to ascertain whether the weapons were not used earlier in the commissioning of crime.”
Tonjeni said a collaboration between the police and Traffics Services which aimed to ensure road safety and compliance to road rules achieved through vehicle stop and checks on major roads throughout the province was also fruitful. Ten suspected stolen vehicles were recovered during this week long anti-crime operation with traffic fines worth R9 000 and 21 warrants executed. Sixty drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and were expected to appear in court soon.
“Counterfeit goods ranging from sportswear, t-shirts, jeans and caps were seized from illegal traders stored in containers. No one was arrested but the police investigation continues.”
He said operations would continue with the police grateful for the “overwhelming support and collaboration received from various members of the public.”