Police Minister Bheki Cele was back in Port Elizabeth on Thursday to visit hotspots in the area. Picture: Raahil Sain / ANA

Pretoria - Police Minister Bheki Cele has assured residents of Port Elizabeth's gang-ridden northern areas, that there is no need to deploy the army as police plan to intensify operations in the area.

Cele visited the northern areas on Thursday accompanied by Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner Liziwe Nshinga and Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Mongameli Bobani. 

He addressed a community engagement meeting where he interacted with sector stakeholders and local residents at Booysen's Park.

“Fighting gangsterism and related crimes such as drug and substance abuse is a national priority, hence the recent pronouncement of the establishment of the Anti Gang Unit at national level.

“Three provinces are high on the radar when it comes to gangster related crimes and police have strong presence in Western Cape, Gauteng and Eastern Cape to stabilise the situation and maintain law and order,” Cele said.

Thirty-seven people have been arrested and convicted of gang-related crimes in the province since the start of the operation last year. 

African News Agency (ANA)