KwaZulu-Natal police have seized 146 firearms and a total of 1219 rounds of ammunition and arrested 140 people for being in possession of illegal firearms and ammunition during various operations conducted last month. Picture: SAPS

Durban - KwaZulu-Natal police have seized 146 firearms and a total of 1219 rounds of ammunition and arrested 140 people for being in possession of illegal firearms and ammunition during various operations conducted last month, the South African Police Service (SAPS) in KwaZulu-Natal said on Sunday.

These arrests were as a result of operations conducted from July 1 to July 31 in various parts of the province, Brigadier Jay Naicker said.

"Police focused their operations in areas where inter-group conflict, stock theft, and taxi violence are prevalent. Much of the information provided to police is from ordinary citizens who are concerned about crime and we urge citizens to continue reporting information with regards to illegal firearms to Crime Stop on 08600-10111," he said.

Altogether 129 pistols, five shotguns, nine rifles, and three homemade firearms were recovered in the operations. All the recovered firearms would be subjected to ballistic tests to establish if they were used in any other crimes in the province. A concerted effort was being made by police to step up operations aimed at ridding communities of illegal firearms, Naicker said.

KwaZulu-Natal police commissioner Lt-Gen Khombinkosi Jula commended the various policing cluster commanders in the province for their contributions to eradicate the proliferation of illegal firearms in the province.

“I have noted the steady rate in which firearms are being seized in this province and I am encouraged, as this will eventually contribute to improving the crime situation. We need to maintain this performance and ensure that criminals are disarmed, as firearms do contribute to many violent crimes that are prevalent in society,” Jula said.

African News Agency (ANA)