Over the festive season, South Africa notes a spike in its already world leading crime rate. Therefore, to try and curb criminality over this period the South African Police Service (SAPS) has implemented a festive session plan as a countermeasure to this significant, all-year-round problem.
National Police Commissioner, General Fannie Masemola said that the SAPS festive session plan will focus on intensified and integrated crime prevention and combatting operations. This, he said, will heighten and increase police visibility. To achieve this, Masemola explained that police have identified six focus areas of priority.
During this period, he said SAPS members will continue to strengthen the fight against crime as “the SAPS strives to heighten and increase police visibility throughout the country”.
“Our apex priority remains the well-being and safety of residents and tourists alike during and beyond this period. Our safer festive season operations, which are already in full swing are characterised by heightened crime awareness campaigns, foot, vehicle and air-support patrols, stop and searches, arrests, vehicle checkpoints and roadblocks,” said Masemola.
He further said maximum resources have already been deployed to assert the authority of the State to regain public confidence and ensure that communities are and feel safe and secure.
Through the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (Natjoints), police have identified six focus areas of priority.
All provinces, Masemola said, are conducting operations in line with the National Policing Strategy.
“Our six focus areas include intensifying our campaigns and police actions towards addressing gender-based violence and femicide, as we continue to embark on the tracking and tracing of wanted suspects,” he said.
As an organisation, Masomola emphasised that the police remain committed to ensuring the safety of women, children and vulnerable groups, not only during the 16 Days of Activism for no Violence against Women and Children period but throughout the year.
The second focus area concentrates on intensifying efforts to combat aggravated robberies such as cash-in-transit (CIT) heists, ATM bombings, carjacking, and robberies at residential and business premises.
“We all know that this period is characterised by an abundance of cash and influx of people at shopping centres and malls. This is the time where people share money and their hard-earned savings, but it is also a period where criminals pounce on these unsuspecting victims to rob them of their belongings,” added Masomola.
The third focus area will be on enhancing border security, as the SAPS know the holiday season is a period where authorities witness an influx of people utilising our borders to enter or exit the country.
“We have been intensifying our search operations at the borders where we are focusing on preventing and combatting human and drug trafficking, as well as illegal crossings,” said Masemola.
The fourth focus area looks into the enforcement of legislation to decisively address the proliferation of illegal firearms, second-hand goods, liquor enforcement, as well as the enforcement of the Safety at Sports and Recreational Events (SASREA) Act.
Moreover, Masemola said compliance inspections at establishments that sell liquor, including taverns, shebeens and night clubs are being intensified to ensure compliance with relevant legislation, including the trading hours.
“The fifth area focuses on the enforcement of by-laws targeting hijacked buildings, destruction of essential infrastructure, extortion as well as unlawful sale and use of firecrackers. The sixth focus area looks into road safety where we are jointly conducting roadblocks and vehicle checkpoints, together with the metro police departments, as well as provincial and national traffic police.”
He said SAPS has been hard at work in consistently developing and reviewing interventions in response to the analysis of crime patterns and emerging crime trends in the country.
What are your thoughts on the now jump in focus toward an all-year-round problem? Do you believe this will assist in lowering the crime rate over this period?
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