45 000 festive arrests not enough: DA

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Copy of IOL   Handcuffs jun23 . The arrests of 45 000 people in Gauteng since September are not enough in the fight against festive season crimes, the DA said.

Johannesburg - The arrests of 45 000 people in Gauteng since September are not enough in the fight against festive season crimes, the DA said on Wednesday.

“The number of people arrested reflects the efforts and ability of police to hunt down criminals, but the absence of statistics on the number of crimes reported is concerning,” said Democratic Alliance MPL John Moodey.

“Without reliable and up-to-date figures for crimes committed and reported in Gauteng for the duration of the campaign, we cannot effectively assess the ability of police to detect and prevent crime before it happens.”

Police launched their crime-fighting campaign “Operation Duty Calls” on September 15. It runs until January 31. Seven base camps have been set up across the province for the duration of the operation.

On Tuesday, provincial police commissioner Lt-Gen Mzwandile Petros said the arrests were for crimes including robbery, rape, kidnapping, murder, fraud and shoplifting.

Police had confiscated more than 411 500 litres of alcohol, 3346 illegal guns and over 47 000 rounds of ammunition. They also recovered 2437 stolen vehicles.

They said they would destroy more than 52 500 litres of alcohol and more than 294 000 counterfeit CDs and DVDs.

Moodey applauded the effort, but challenged Petros to make public statistics for the number and nature of crimes reported at Gauteng police stations during the festive seasons of 2011/12 and 2012/13.

“Only comprehensive information such as this would serve to reassure the people of Gauteng that our provincial police are indeed turning the tide and winning the war against crime.”

He said arrest rates alone did not indicate the effectiveness of anti-crime strategies and visible policing. - Sapa


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