The SAPS in Pretoria appealed to community members to be patient as officers intensified crime combating efforts ahead of the December festive season. Picture: Henk Kruger/ANA/African News Agency

Pretoria - The South African Police Service (SAPS) in Pretoria on Tuesday appealed to community members to be patient as officers intensified crime combating efforts ahead of the December festive season.

Spokesperson for the Silverton police station, east of Pretoria, Captain Jan Sepato said officers will be "at every corner", as they seek to protect communities from criminals.

"At this time we appeal for patience from our communities. Be patient, when you will be stopped by police and asked questions. Police are looking for criminals. We need to cooperate with them as they do their work," Sepato said speaking to African News Agency (ANA) in Pretoria.

"As we head into the festive season, our officers will be at every corner, to ensure that people are safe."

Sepato said last weekend, Silverton police arrested four men at the scene of a business robbery.

"The suspects, all four of them in the 30s, had already taken the safe, a laptop, cellphones belonging to employees as well as cash amounting to R40 000," said Sepato.

The four have since appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court and their bail application was postponed to November 19.

"Two pistols with ammunition were recovered from the suspects. This is the beginning of Operation Thiba for the festive season."

Bull Security, which secures many homes and business premises across Pretoria east, said a significant spike in criminal activity has been observed over the past few weeks.

"We had a very quiet July, August and September crime-wise, but we can definitely see a massive spike the last three weeks - with two to three arrests per week. We also have a big spike on attempted break-ins. It is the festive season and we can definitely expect an increase in crime," said French Jooste Operations Manager at Bull Security.

"I want to encourage the community to be vigilant and report any suspicious vehicles or any suspicious behaviour immediately. Also make sure that your alarm systems and parameter security is in good working order. When going on holiday [arrange] with a neighbour to remove mail and switch on some lights at night time."

Jooste also advised residents who will be travelling for holidays to always leave an additional contact number of either a friend or a family member to the private security companies so that the holidaymaker is contactable regarding their home.

African News Agency (ANA)