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Army deployment sees drastic drop in WC murder rate - police

Operation Lockdown, which involves soldiers assisting police, has been in effect since July and police said that since then, the province's murder rate had dropped to around 30 per week.

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

CAPE TOWN - Early indications are that the deployment of the army may have halved the number of murders in the Western Cape.

Operation Lockdown, which involves soldiers assisting police, has been in effect since July and police said that since then, the province's murder rate had dropped to around 30 per week.

Between April 2018 and March this year, there were almost 4,000 murders in the province which equated to an average of over 70 murders per week.

Police Minister Cele has this week been getting feedback on Operation Lockdown at imbizos in Mitchells Plain and Gugulethu.

The Mitchells Plain community policing forum's Abie Isaacs said that since soldiers were deployed to help police there has been a decrease in high priority crimes.

"As Mitchells Plain, the honest view is that yes, we have seen a drastic decrease based on the continued work with the SANDF, in particular on Operation Lockdown, and we send the information through it."

The police ministry said that Operation Lockdown has led to the arrest of almost 6,000 people.