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Cele: 34 wanted criminals arrested since launch of safer holidays initiative

The police’s national operational plan, aimed at reducing crime over the Christmas festive season, was rolled out in the Western Cape on Thursday night.

Police Minister Bheki Cele. Picture: @SAgovnews/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Police Minister Bheki Cele said 34 wanted criminals have been arrested in Cape Town since the South African Police Service (SAPS)’s Safer Festive Season initiative was launched earlier this month.

The police’s national operational plan, aimed at reducing crime over the Christmas festive season, was rolled out in the Western Cape on Thursday night.

On Friday, Cele addressed community members and police officers at the official rollout event in Philippi.

He said officers confiscated six illegal firearms during raids that formed part of the Safer Festive Season crime-busting plan.

Reacting to the recent killing of police officers in the province, Cele said officers should not hesitate to defend themselves against criminals.

“For some reason, it looks like there’s war in This province against our police; they shoot them a lot.”

Various specialised crime-fighting units, such as Operation Thunder and the Anti-Gang Unit have been introduced in the province in an attempt to curb crime.

In September, President Cyril Ramaphosa extended the rollout of the South African National Defence Force soldiers in Cape Town’s gang hotspots.