Mthethwa pleased with holiday anticrime operations


Countercrime operations during the festive season were an “overwhelming success “, police minister Nathi Mthethwa says.

Mthethwa noted significant year- on-year declines in crimes, including armed robbery, burglary and theft of cash in transit, Business Day and the Independent group newspapers reported today.
“Decreases in carjacking and theft of motor vehicles, but particularly street robbery, can in all probability be attributed to higher police visibility,” he said at a press conference in Pretoria yesterday.

Launched late in November to counter the usual spike in crime rates during the holiday period, Operation Duty Calls focused on visible policing at shopping malls and taxi ranks, as well as patrols of popular tourist destinations and operations against illegal firearms.

Mthethwa’s assessment of the operation’s success was based on interim reports, he said, with the initiative set to run until Friday.
“The department is collating and finalising the provincial reports and these will then be presented to the national commissioner in due course,” said Mthethwa.

Police commissioner Bheki Cele would reveal the confirmed figures within the next fortnight, a spokesman said later in the day.

Cele said some 90 000 officials were “on the beat” over the December-January break during which all police leave had been cancelled.

Although crimes had been committed during the season, “I believe the police did a lot of prevention”, he said.

Again repeating that the police had adopted a tough stance on crime, Cele said those criminals who had not heeded the police’s call to refrain from crime “are either arrested or dead”.