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Deployment of extra officers in WC paying off in fight against crime

Police have arrested 10,000 people from 15 to 26 December in the province.

FILE: Western Cape police conducting operations during the 2017 festive season. Picture: SAPS.

CAPE TOWN - South African Police Service (SAPS) say an extra 300 police officers deployed over the festive season have helped their crime-fighting efforts considerably.

Police have arrested 10,000 people from 15 to 26 December in the Western Cape alone.

The thousands of arrests that have been made in that period are for a range of crimes, including drug-related charges and possession of illegal firearms.

But on the question of whether holding cells equipped to deal with this influx of suspects, SAPS’s Western Cape office believes they have it all under control, saying they always ensure suspects are brought before the court within 48 hours after the arrest.

That means many suspects are either released on bail or remanded to other places of custody.

The office says it planned well in advance to meet operational demands during this busy period.

In addition to the current number of officers in the province, 300 newly trained women and men in blue have been on the ground since Boxing Day.

Provincial SAPS also get help from its national counterparts and other law enforcement agencies like metro police and neighbourhood watches.