Police Minister, General Bheki Cele has commended the drastic decline in the murder rate in the Western Cape since the commencement of Operation Lockdown.

Operation Lockdown was established three months ago to curb serious violent crimes plaguing the Cape Flats and other townships in the Cape Metropole. The operation has seen members of the South African Defence Force lending support to the South African Police Service.

On Tuesday, Minister Cele and Deputy Minister of Police Cassel Mathale received a consolidated report of the operational interventions in the Western Cape to date, ranging from Operation Thunder which was launched in May 2018, the Anti-Gang Unit which was launched by his Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa in November 2018 and ultimately Operation Lockdown which came into operation in July 2019 and extended to March 2020.

Following the report, Minister Cele and Deputy Minister Mathale engaged communities in order to get feedback from members of the public on the interventions through a Ministerial Imbizo hosted in Mitchells’s Plain and Gugulethu.

It goes without saying that government has invested a lot of resources in the Western Cape from 2018 to date. This was primarily informed by the crime statistics reporting pattern which revealed that more than 50 percent of the Top 30 Stations are located in the Cape metropole; with a specific focus on Contact and Trio Crimes.

Following operational discussions and analysis, a decision to merge the three major interventions under one central operational command was implemented in order to stamp the authority of the state in Western Cape and to ultimately address the scourge of gangsterism and other priority crimes in the province. The interventions in tackling contact crimes have shown a positive impact. This is demonstrated in the stabilisation of the murder rate which is now averaging in the 30s mark. Over five thousand people have been arrested for various crimes.

However, there are still other policing precincts where trio crimes and robbery aggravated crimes are still on the increase, especially street robberies and car hijackings.

These are some of the successes to date:

Arrests 5 969?

Total numbers of seizures:?

Firearms 100?

Ammunition 196

Knives 565

Minister Cele believes it’s through planning, much needed intelligence and mutually beneficial partnerships that these interventions will achieve their intended successes.

Operation Lockdown remains a temporary support to Western Cape police and the Provincial SAPS operational planning is in preparation for the inevitable withdrawal of the additional forces.?The police in the Western Cape are aware of the extension of the duration of the SANDF deployment in Cape Town to March 2020. As a consequence, operations are still executed with vigour and strength without fail.

Integrated forces attached to Operation Lockdown have been hard at work executing operations in the identified areas or as guided by the crime threat analysis.

With the passage of time these operations are not generating much attention. However all role players such as the various SAPS units, Metro police, traffic services, SANDF and in some instances scores of neighbourhood watch members and volunteers, have been descending week after week on a number of targeted precincts in an effort to create safety for all. Raids, operations, cordon and searches, vehicle checkpoints, roadblocks as well as search and seizures have been a common occurrence, particularly on weekends when most criminal acts occur.?

The operations are set to continue in a bid to restore calm to communities plagued by serious violent crimes in Cape Town. Communities are urged to share vital information on crime related issues using the police Crime Stop number 08600 10111. A word of gratitude goes to all who on a daily basis strive to make the Western Cape safer.?

Source: South African Police Service