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WC's Operation Lockdown sees nearly 900 arrests over past two weeks

A total of 889 arrests for an array of crimes including murder, attempted murder, assault and robbery were executed in the past two weeks. Of the figure, 337 were wanted suspects.

FILE: SANDF soldiers on patrol in Hanover Park. The military has released their soldiers to help stabilise gang hotspots, while law enforcement agencies conducted raids in the area. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Police in the Western Cape said that nearly 900 arrests had been made over the past fortnight as part of Operation Lockdown.

A total of 889 arrests for an array of crimes including murder, attempted murder, assault and robbery were executed in the past two weeks. Of the figure, 337 were wanted suspects.

“With 13 weeks since the inception of Operation Lockdown, a lot of ground has been covered and murders in the Cape Town metropole are showing a decline. The road ahead still requires much more than boots on the ground,” said the Brigadier Novela Potelwa of the South African Police Service.

Potelwa said that thorough planning, much-needed intelligence and mutually beneficial partnerships were but some of the ingredients that would set this intervention apart from any other.

“From a dark period, when in one weekend a total of 73 murders were recorded provincially, followed by another shocker in July 2019, when thirteen murders occurred in 48 hours in Philippi East as well as other incidents, the situation has been stabilising and murders are now averaging in the 30s per week, provincially.

“That is testament to the hard work of the integrated forces as well as station, district and provincial deployments. Figures aside, the absence of serious violent crimes incidents, particularly on weekends when crime often peak, is on its own an indication that the impact of the operational intervention is beginning to yield results,” she added.

The police in the Western Cape said they were cognisant of the extension of the duration of the SANDF deployment in Cape Town, thereby taking Operation Lockdown to March 2020.

“Since July 2019, without fail, integrated forces attached to Operation Lockdown have been hard at work executing operations in the identified areas or as guided by the crime threat analysis. With the passage of time, these operations are not generating much attention. However, all role-players amongst others, various SAPS units, metro police, traffic services, SANDF and in some instances scores of neighbourhood watch members as well as volunteers have been descending week after week on several targeted precincts to create safety for all,” Potelwa said.

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