Cape law enforcement confiscate illegal firearms during crime-fighting activities
The City of Cape Town’s metro police and law enforcement officers arrested several suspects for the possession of illegal firearms, while on regular patrols.
The City’s Metro Police Department made 34 arrests for firearm-related contraventions since July last year, and these include the possession of illegal and imitation firearms.
Officers also registered 25 cases with SAPS for offences linked to these weapons.
During the same period, 16 suspects were arrested for unlawful possession of ammunition and seven for the possession of illegal firearms. Officers also recovered 508 rounds of ammunition.
The City added that there is also an increase in crimes committed with registered firearms, which is cause for concern.
Since October last year, Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) officers confiscated 12 firearms, 14 imitation firearms, and many rounds of ammunition, with several arrests related directly to the firearms.
Hotspot areas include Nyanga, Delft and Hanover Park.
On Wednesday, January 13, 2021, officers confiscated one 9mm firearm and five rounds of ammunition in Delft. One suspect was arrested. On Friday, January 15, 2021, officers confiscated two firearms and 17 rounds of ammunition in the same area.
Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith said: “The swift reaction by our officers in confiscating illegal firearms plays an important role in the fight against crime, and in terms of those who incite violence and fear in our communities.
“It is another indication of how our officers assist SAPS in their investigations. Many of these firearms can be linked to past crimes. Confiscating illegal firearms prevents violent incidents and could potentially save lives,” said Smith.
He added that it has been challenging for the City as LEAP officers have had to also support Covid-19 enforcement operations, which has taken resources away from their core crime prevention focus.
Meanwhile, during the past week, the City’s Traffic Service impounded 60 cell phones and issued more than 59 500 fines for transgressions such as driving while under the influence of alcohol, participating in an illegal street race, and reckless and negligent driving.
Officers also assisted with the enforcement of lockdown level 3 regulations, where 68 fines were issued for disobeying the curfew rule and 21 fines for not wearing a mask.
“We all have to stay vigilant in our fight against crime and, therefore, we should follow an integrated approach in the prevention of crime. This is where our communities play such an important role in assisting officers, by reporting antisocial behaviour and criminal activities.
“Our enforcement operations are based on information gathering and operational imperatives. We would, once again, like to ask members of the public to be our eyes and ears and to report any information that will assist us in our crime prevention programmes, to make our communities a safer place,” said Smith.