Limpopo launch Festive Season Operations
25 Oct 2012
This festive season period in Limpopo, criminals in the province will certainly feel uncomfortable and unwanted with the squeeze of the entire South African Police Service in the province as members will go out in full force to ensure a safe, secure and happy season for all its citizens.
Members of the community can expect high police visibility over the coming months, with mobile roadblocks - with the support of SAPS Airwing - being conducted together with stop-and-search and other crime prevention activities in the province. With the festive season around the corner and with the expected influx of people into the province during this period, the South African Police Service is already in an advanced stage of planning actions and operations to keep the citizens of the province safe and secure.
Today, several high profile vehicles will also be handed out to members of the highway patrols in the province to assist with high visibility and crime prevention actions over the coming few months.
“Our Festive Season plans to address crime during this challenging time are in place and I can assure you that each and every member of the South African Police Service in this province has committed him or herself to working tirelessly to protect the inhabitants and visitors to this province, the Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in the province”, Lieutenant General Simon Mpembe said during the handing over of the vehicles. “This was already made clear with the arrest of several wanted suspects during the past few weeks, as well as the destruction of more than 6 000 fire-arms, most of which were confiscated during operations and arrests in the province,” he said.
He further stressed by saying that these arrests are however only a warning and an indication that the Police will not rest during this coming period. “We will not falter in our endeavours to pluck criminals out of their holes where they plan their criminal acts and place them behind bars for the rest of their lives. During this period we will not rest in our endeavours to make the province a safer place for all vulnerable communities, especially the elderly and our women and children. They must be able to walk and play freely without the threat of rape, murder or assault against them,” he reiterated.
With this in mind, Mpembe has instructed his provincial management and operational members, to intensify operations and increase visibility. This will ensure that the South African Police Service (SAPS), is always a step ahead of criminals during festive season and beyond. He once again stressed however that the Police cannot work in isolation and requested the assistance of all the members of the communities in the province. Clean-up operations will be conducted in areas with the highest incidents of contact crimes and liquor outlets as well as illegal drug dens will receive high priority attention.
Increasing borderline and cross-border operations as well as projects designed to eradicate corruption and fraud are included in the operational plan for the festive season. “We will concentrate on police priority areas and criminal activities such as illegal liquor sales – especially to underage individuals, drug dealing, illegal possession of firearms and also tracking wanted criminals. Mpembe sensitised licensed fire arm owners to look after their firearms in order to ensure that they don’t get into the hands of criminals. He warned that fire arms should not be taken to liquor outlets or kept in cars but should rather be in safes in terms of the Fire Arms Control Act.
Members of the community were also requested to do all they can not to fall victim to criminals over the festive season period. People withdrawing large amounts of cash from banks are urged to use extreme caution and make sure they are not being followed when leaving the bank. ATM users are also discouraged to request assistance from any person as they might fall prey to ATM fraudsters. They are therefore urged to seek assistance from bank officials, and should avoid visiting isolated ATM`s especially in the evenings. People are also being urged not to leave expensive or valuable items in their vehicles to invite criminals to steal it.
Mpembe has also warned people who will be travelling to avoid hitchhiking or motorists to avoid giving lifts to hitchhikers as they might be served with drinks laced with drugs and end up being robbed or murdered. He urged members of the community to use public transport.
People who use the social media are also warned not to fall in the hands of criminals who pretend to be seeking love mates. An unsuspecting youth was conned by a man who ended up sexually molesting her.
Festive season is the period which demand the high supply of meat for braais and parties, hence the buying of stolen stock. The Provincial Commissioner warned members of the community to avoid buying suspected stolen stock or any suspected stolen property. He urged members of the community to report any person suspected to be selling or dealing in stolen goods. `If we all stand up and reject stolen goods, the market will saturated` so emphasised the Provincial Commissioner.
Members of the Police, together with other role players such as the Department of Roads and Transport, will also focus their operations on people driving under the influence of liquor. “Do not get into a vehicle when you had consumed alcohol, Gen Mpembe warned, “you will be arrested and placed in the police cells. Rather have a designated driver on standby to keep yourself as well as other road users safe.”
The protection of women and children will also be a focus point of the SAPS this period. “Tragically however, most of the crimes against women and children are being committed behind closed doors and by loved ones or people well known to them,” Mpembe said. However, he urged mothers and members of the communities to look after and take responsibility for their children and the vulnerable such as elderly people.
Illegal spaza shops as well as liquor outlets will also be targeted during this period. “Research has shown that violent crimes such as rape, assaults and murder take place in and around drinking places, whether legal or illegal, and members of the Police, together with members of the Liquor Board, will be out in full force to ensure that all stipulations and regulations are adhered to.”
As festive season is rainy period, General Mpembe sensitised parents and guardians to make sure that children don’t play around dams or rivers to avoid being drowned. He warned that people should also avoid crossing flooded rivers as that might be risky.
Mpembe further urged members of the community to know their sector commanders and to link up with the Community Policing Forum structures in their station area. “Only if we work together as one will we be able to squeeze the space for criminals in this province so that they run somewhere else,” he said.
For enquiries please contact:
Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi
Cell: 082 373 2408
Issued by: South African Police Service
25 Oct 2012
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