/ 29 December 2023

75 000 arrested in SA during festive season safety operations

Police 3 Getty
South African police officer on a roadside drivers license and insurance check. (Photo by Peter Titmus/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

The South African Police Service (SAPS) has made 75 000 arrests for various crimes around the country since the launch of the nationwide Safer Festive Season Operation.

The SAPS and the Ministry of Police, led by Police Minister Bheki Cele, launched the nationwide Safer Festive Season Operations on October 13 in the Western Cape.

The heightened police visibility has been aimed at preventing, combating and at the same time, countering serious and violent crime during the holiday season and beyond.

According to the SAPS, as part of crime prevention efforts, the police conducted almost half a million compliance inspections at gun shops, second-hand goods dealers, taverns and liquor outlets.

Five hundred and sixty suspects were arrested for murder, 604 people have been charged with attempted murder and 470 have been arrested for rape.

The SAPS has also managed to arrest 6 700 people on charges of assault, 408 arrests were made for attempted break-ins on business properties and 561 were arrested for being in possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition.

The SAPS also said that during this time, over 11 000 undocumented individuals have been arrested and efforts to deport them out of the country are under way.

Since October 15, the police services have conducted and overseen 3 364 roadblocks across the country, with more than 200 000 stopand-searches, 26 569 vehicle check points and over 500 000 vehicle and foot patrols.

About 4 488 drunk drivers were also arrested.

“Since the start of December, up until December 22, 2 500 people have been arrested for public
drinking across the country. Eight hundred and fifty people were also arrested for being drunk and disorderly in a public place. Police are acting hard on the abuse of liquor, which remains a core driver of crime, especially contact crimes.

Cele said police have been criss-crossing every corner of the country to ensure the safety and
security of all in South Africa this busy, festive season.

“It’s all hands-on deck as police continue to intercept, dismantle and take down criminals in all forms and shape. This will continue throughout the festive season and beyond. Our communities’ safety is our priority,” Cele said. —The Witness