Following increased reports of cash-in-transit heists, robberies and murders, Police Minister Bheki Cele has responded to the pressure for him to take action on what he calls a “crime wave” in the country.
Cele, together with National Police Commissioner Khehla Sithole, briefed the media on Monday on how the police will tackle the recent spate of violent crime.
“Our intention is to combat crimes, among others, cash-in-transit heists, car hijacking, murders, house robberies, gang violence and related crimes, taxi violence and related crimes,” said Cele.
He promised to ensure high visibility of uniformed police officers on foot and vehicles, continuous cordon and search operations, roadblocks, as well as air support and searches for suspects.
“We are also going to engage all the security companies that are conveying the cash and we are going to be linking them to the activation plan, which is at the centre of the operation,” said Sithole.
Sithole said the plan to stabilise crime also included rooting out police officers who were breaking the law and increasing police response time.
“We started by beefing up our 10111, that also included a technological beef up so that we are able to be quick in receiving the message,” he said.
Helicopters, jets on standby and 201 new police vehicles have been made available to improve police response time.
“I’m going to be in this attire until the criminals retire,” promised Sithole.
The national commissioner also announced a migration of resources within the South African Police Service.
“So we would like to confirm that yes some members will be taken out of the administration and they will go to the field and we will keep them there because that is where they belong,” said Sithole.
“Not only do we want to ensure that people are and feel safe but we also want to ensure an environment conducive for an effective and efficient Grand Economic Strategy of the country,” said Cele.
He called on communities to assist police by reporting crime.
“As part of the community mobilisation I call on all South Africans to be our eyes and ears by providing information on criminal activities, preferably before they happen,” he said.