City of Cape Town Metro Police, Law Enforcement and Traffic Services arrested nearly 60 suspects in the last week on charges ranging from drunk driving to possession of illegal firearms, ammunition and drugs. Read more below:
The City’s enforcement agencies arrested seven suspects for possession of illegal firearms and ammunition alone in the last week.
The Metro Police Department arrested four suspects for possession of illegal firearms in Manenberg, Hanover Park and Hazeldene. They also arrested a 31-year-old member of the Hard Livings gang in Manenberg for possession of ammunition. Officers responded to a ShotSpotter alert just after 13:00 on Thursday 5 October 2017 and were informed that the shooter was driving a green BMW. When they searched the vehicle, they found a 9 mm round and 10 empty cartridges.
In Scottsdene, members of the City’s Law Enforcement Department arrested two suspects who tried to bolt when they spotted the patrol car. Officers caught up with them and found them in possession of 128 rounds of ammunition, including shotgun and 9 mm rounds.
‘The City calls on MEC Plato and the Western Cape Department of Community Safety to continue to raise with the South African Police Service (SAPS) the crisis around the large number of illegal firearms in circulation and for SAPS to put in place the necessary investigative and crime intelligence systems and units to identify the source of these weapons as this will require a comprehensive investigative effort.’
‘In the absence of a breakthrough since the Prinsloo case where 2 000 firearms in the care of SAPS were sold to gangsters, relating to the constant entry of more and more illegal firearms on the street, the efforts of Metro Police to remove the illegal weapons from the street daily will bring limited relief to the residents of neighbourhoods that have been turned into war zones by gangsters who will not even hesitate to shoot police officers, as was the case with three SAPS Stabilisation Unit members this weekend.
‘I appeal to the public to work with us by coming forward with any information about illegal guns, drugs and other illicit activities. Many of our successes come as a result of community intelligence. Working together in this manner is the only way we are truly going to make our streets safer,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.
On the roads, Metro Police arrested 13 motorists for driving under the influence of alcohol, including one who was involved in a collision in Khayelitsha. City traffic officers arrested 27 motorists for drunk driving and one for reckless and negligent driving. A roadblock in Bellville on Friday 6 October 2017 resulted in 12 arrests and the issuing of 20 fines for various transgressions. On the other side of the peninsula in Hout Bay, officers netted 14 suspects for drunk driving, including eight women. Another motorist was arrested in Maitland by officers heading home from the Hout Bay roadblock.
Over the weekend, Metro Police and Traffic Services also joined SAPS in joint operations in Marikana. Over the last three months (July – September 2017), the Metro Police Department held a total of 26 autonomous and joint operations (with SAPS) in the Philippi East area. They arrested 57 suspects for possession of drugs, drunk driving, riotous behaviour, and possession of dangerous weapons. Staff also assisted SAPS with protest action and various other complaints and issued 125 notices for by-law transgressions with fines totalling R33 050.
In recent days, the following successes were recorded during operations by the City’s enforcement services (autonomous and in conjunction with SAPS):
• 393 traffic fines issued at roadblocks, four drunk driving arrests, and one arrest for possession of counterfeit CDs
• Eight liquor premises inspected, with compliance notices issued to five shebeens and one arrest made by SAPS
In addition, the City has already set equipment aside for issuing to the neighbourhood watch once they have completed their training. This includes reflective bibs, spotlights, flashlights, bicycles and hand radios. Potential watch members will be identified from the current informal groupings, vetted by SAPS, and trained by the City and the Western Cape Department of Community Safety.
‘I also met with leaders of the neighbourhood patrollers and handed them 25 bibs so that their patrollers can be identifiable while their training starts. The City and Western Cape Government will be training them over next couple of weeks so that they can achieve full accreditation. It was also agreed that Metro Police would join them on some of their patrols. It was very disturbing to hear accounts from community members who said that criminals had access to bullet-proof vests and weapons like R4s, as these are not civilian weapons and equipment and are not likely to have come from private citizens,’ Smith added.