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Western Cape SAPS out in force over first weekend of 2021 as crime levels drop

SAPS officers patrolling a beach in the Western Cape. Photo: Supplied (SAPS)

SAPS officers patrolling a beach in the Western Cape. Photo: Supplied (SAPS)

Published Jan 3, 2021


CAPE TOWN - With integrated police deployments in full force in anticipation of New Year and holiday activities, Western Cape police have recorded fewer crime incidents and significant successes since Thursday evening with Covid-19 lockdown level three regulations in effect, the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the province said on Sunday.

A total of 2915 fines were issued for contravention of the Disaster Management Act regulations, with the majority of the transgressions (2185) for failure to comply with the 9pm to 6am curfew, Western Cape SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa said in a statement.

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Twenty-nine illegal shebeens were closed down with 32 arrests made for illegally selling, dispensing, and distributing liquor. A total of 11,000 litres of alcohol were confiscated during the policing operations over the weekend, Potelwa said.

A large amount of illegal liquor was confiscated during the operations. Photo: Supplied (SAPS)

Thirteen firearms and 100 rounds of ammunition were also confiscated in different areas throughout the province.

In Cape Town, Belhar SAPS officers followed up information on Friday, January 1, about firearms at a house in Extension 13 in Belhar. Upon searching the premises they discovered three unlicensed firearms.

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Three of the confiscated illegal firearms. Photo: Supplied (SAPS)

Two suspects, aged 62 and 48, were subsequently arrested. The area where the discovery was made was notorious for gang fights. The suspects would appear in court on Monday on charges of illegal possession of firearms, Potelwa said.

At the Range area in Elsies River in Cape Town on Friday evening, officers responding to sporadic shooting incidents seized a firearm, ammunition, cash, and an assortment of drugs, including Mandrax tablets and tik (crystal methamphetanine).

A 32-year-old suspect was arrested for possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition and dealing in drugs. During the arrest, “police were pelted with stones”, resulting in one officer being injured.

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An assortment of large quantities of drugs, comprising of Mandrax tablets, crystal methamphetamine, and dagga were also seized in various operations, Potelwa said.

Confiscated bags containing dagga. Photo: Supplied (SAPS)

A vehicle checkpoint held in the early hours of Sunday morning in Laingsburg in the Karoo led to the discovery of 70kg of dagga in bags found in a minibus taxi destined for Cape Town. A 27-year-old passenger from Belhar in Cape Town was arrested. He would appear in court on Monday.

Police officers were also deployed on beaches along the Garden Route, Overberg, West Coast, and Cape Town to ensure adherence to the Covid-19 level three restrictions. While most beaches were deserted, there were a few transgressors who were subsequently “dealt with”.

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During compliance inspections on beaches in the Overberg on Friday, police “removed and fined” 15 people from three beaches in Pringle Bay, Onrus, and Castle Beach. Fines to the value of R15,000 were issued, Potelwa said.

The compliance inspections by law enforcement agencies in the areas also focused on minibus taxi ranks, spaza shops, other businesses, shopping centres, funerals, and other public spaces.

The police activities comprising of roadblocks, raids, vehicle checkpoints, compliance inspections, and targeted operations also formed part of the Safer Festive Season programme which was set to continue until the end of the holiday season in an effort to ensure "all are and feel safe".

Western Cape SAPS management had thanked the majority of people for heeding the call to observe the level three regulations and respecting the rule of law, Potelwa said.