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Over 75,000 Arrests Made in South Africa's Safer Festive Season Police Operations

Published December 28, 2023
7 months ago

In an extensive crackdown to ensure a safer festive season, South African Police Service (SAPS) operations have resulted in the detention of more than 75,000 individuals. The campaign, which began on October 15, has seen a significant number of arrests, from undocumented migrants to perpetrators of violent crimes.

Police spokesperson Brig Athlenda Mathe reported that the operations executed during the festive period were multifarious and targeted a broad spectrum of illegal activities. The arrest of over 11,000 undocumented foreigners has been a crux of the campaign, with deportation proceedings in motion to return them to their countries of origin.

Drunk driving, a cornerstone of road safety campaigns, has seen 4,488 individuals apprehended, while 6,700 were arrested for assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and just under 5,000 for common assault. These figures underscore the SAPS' commitment to curbing not only crime but also the root causes that lead to criminal behavior, such as alcohol abuse.

A striking component of the festive season operations has been the dedicated search for suspects wanted for heinous crimes including murder, rape, and gender-based violence. In this vein, a remarkable number of tracking and tracing operations, 6,244 to be precise, were carried out, yielding substantial arrests.

The Twitter post further illustrated a successful multi-disciplinary initiative against Inter-Provincial Cross-Border crime, where collaboration proved pivotal in detaining more than 835 suspects. This approach underlies the efficacy of integrated crime fighting strategies across jurisdictions.

The scourge of violent crime was highlighted by the apprehension of 560 murder suspects, 604 for attempted murder, 470 for rape, and 408 for business robbery. Moreover, the crackdown on illegal arms contributed to the seizure of weapons, with 561 arrests for possession of illegal firearms and ammunition.

Beyond the direct criminal arrests, the SAPS also focused on the thorough regulation of businesses that can inadvertently promote crime, such as liquor outlets. An impressive number of compliance inspections, nearly half a million, were carried out across various establishments, including gun shops, taverns, and second-hand goods dealers.

Public intoxication, another focal point, led to the arrest of 2,500 people for drinking in public and 850 for drunk and disorderly conduct over a mere 22-day span in December. The operations also cracked down heavily on illicit liquor trade, with 17,844 arrests made for illegal trading in liquor during the same period.

Brig Mathe emphasized the importance of responsible trading among liquor outlets and ensured that compliance with the law is non-negotiable. The SAPS' concerted efforts during the campaign exhibit a clear directive: to bring about a more secure environment for the populace during a time traditionally associated with increased criminal activity.

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