16,000 arrested during Drug Watch Campaign

Nearly 16,000 people were arrested during the Drug Watch Campaign in the Western Cape.

Western Cape SAPS celebrate the achievements of the three-month pilot Drug Watch campaign on 9 April 2013. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape law enforcement officials on Tuesday said tackling the root causes of the province's drug problem is a long battle.

Nearly 16,000 people were arrested on drug related charges during the three-month long Drug Watch Campaign in association with Lead SA.

Officials seized drugs with a street value of around R10 million, including tik, cocaine and dagga.

Police said despite the overwhelming success of Drug Watch, there is still a long road ahead in the fight against drug use in the province.

Officers confiscated drugs all over the province during the three-month campaign, including airports, post offices, private homes and vehicles travelling along the N1 and N2 highways.

At least 188 of the nearly 16,000 people arrested were charged with drug dealing.

General Peter Jacobs said their aim now is to track down the so-called flyers.

He said as the SAPS, they support the call for a special drug watch focus in Mitchells Plain.

Officials are destroying half a ton of confiscated dagga at a special furnace at the old state laboratory.

Lead SA has also announced plans to launch a similar drug watch programme in Gauteng in June.