KwaZulu-Natal police scored a major victory against crime when they seized 187 illegal firearms and 1 801 rounds of ammunition during operations in September.
In a statement, provincial spokesperson Jay Naicker said 228 suspects were arrested for being in illegal possession of firearms and ammunition during the operations.
“The arrests are a result of multi-disciplinary operations conducted as from 1 to 30 September, in the province. A hundred and sixty-eight pistols, seven shotguns, six rifles and six homemade firearms were seized by police. All will be subjected to ballistic tests to establish if they were used in other crimes,” he said.
The operations, conducted in clusters, concentrated on areas where inter-group conflict, stock theft, taxi violence and other serious crimes are prevalent, he said.
“Police place a greater emphasis on the recovery of illegal firearms during stabilisation operations as they contribute to lawlessness in communities and every effort is being made to ensure criminals are disarmed as well as limiting the volume of violent crimes,” he said.
Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula, applauded police officers for removing the weapons from criminals.
“I have noted there is a concerted effort by police officers to step up operations aimed at ridding communities of illegal firearms. We plead with citizens concerned about crime to continue reporting information on illegal firearms to their local police stations or Crime Stop on 08600 10111,” he said.