Police officers at the launch in Durban yesterday of an operation to fight crime. Bongani Mbatha African News Agency (ANA)
Durban - More than 500 police officers have been deployed to all KwaZulu-Natal’s hot spots as part of a plan to combat crime in the province. 

The operation was launched by the newly appointed provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Khombinkosi Jula, at Centrum Park in Durban yesterday.

Jula, a former Western Cape police commissioner who started his duties as KZN top cop this month, said that the purpose of the operation was to ensure a safe environment conducive to economic development.

“During these integrated operations we will also take into consideration the safeguarding of our borders and ports of entry to eradicate illegal migration that is adding to the burden of most social services,” he said.

Immediately after the launch, the police were dispatched to various suburbs within the eThekwini region where several premises were searched.

The justice, crime prevention and security cluster identified focus areas that needed to be addressed. 

These included crimes against women and children, trio crimes, taxi violence, police killings, illegal immigration, theft and corruption. 

Jula said hot spots and problem areas in the province had been identified and would be targeted throughout the duration of the operation.

Speaking at the launch yesterday, the MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Mxolisi Kaunda, said the government had declared war against crime, adding that the culture of lawlessness and impunity must an end.

“We also want to issue a stern warning that the days of criminals who continue to terrorise our communities are now numbered.

“We call upon members of the community to work with the police and share critical information about criminals who are terrorising them daily,” said Kaunda.   

Over the weekend, 112 unlicensed liquor outlets were closed down and their owners were arrested for selling liquor without a licence. 

“These operations must be intensified at the liquor outlets and those who are not observing their licences must be shut down. I have also instructed traffic officers to be part of these operations, particularly on weekends to fight crime in all directions,” he said. 

Other operations started this month have seen 633 suspects arrested for various crimes such as murder, possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition, rape and other crimes.

Police seized large quantities of drugs, dangerous weapons, liquor, firearms and ammunition during these operations.