South Africa: Police Crime Sweep Nets 9,000 Suspects
By SA News
Operation Fiela, a national crime blitz by the South African Police Service (SAPS) and other agencies that has netted over 9,000 suspects, has had an impact on crime over the past few months.
Major General Charl Annandale, the head of the Police’s specialised operations, said this when he briefed the Portfolio Committee on Police in Parliament, on Wednesday.
“Operations are on-going in all provinces. There is a task from the NATJOINTS [National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure] that there should be a minimum of two operations per week per province.
“The impact that the operations are having on the crime operations is showing preliminary positive results in certain crime categories if we look at the raw data during our crime analysis,” he said.
The Major General said that between April and June 2015, 9,968 suspects were arrested across all nine provinces during operations conducted by the SAPS and joint departmental role players.
He said 3 064 arrests were made in Gauteng, 1,314 in Limpopo, 1,264 in the Western Cape, 1,225 in Mpumalanga, 916 in KwaZulu-Natal and 881 in the North West.
A further 561 suspects were arrested in raids in the Northern Cape, 460 in the Eastern Cape and 283 in the Free State.
The leading arrests, based on crime categories during this period, were traffic offences, where 3 189 people were arrested, followed by 1,017 arrests for possession of drugs.
Operations also netted 250 people for dealing in liquor, 105 for possession of firearms and 145 for assault with an intention to do grievous bodily harm.
During the national operation, 695,020 grams of dagga were seized, 1,611 grams of tik, 236 grams of heroine and 4,622 tablets of mandrax were also taken from suspects.
Annandale said a total of 102,216 persons were searched during the same period, as well as 19,305 and 21,835 vehicles.
He said on other operations conducted on 30 and 31 July, 3,050 suspects were arrested, with a bulk of those coming from Gauteng (1,211), KwaZulu-Natal (448), Free State (403) and Western Cape (379).
During this period, 30,457 searches were conducted on persons across the country, 4,130 on properties and 12,815 on vehicles.
Again, traffic offences netted the most arrests (1,088), followed by arrests relating to the possession of drugs (624), dealing in liquor (151) and assault causing grievous bodily harm (108).
Annandale said police have been tracking the progress of cases to assess the conviction rate of those that were arrested in priority areas which include, amongst others, illegal firearms, ammunition and explosives; illicit drug trafficking; contraband; liquor; second hand goods; human trafficking; prostitution; crimes against women and children; hijacking; illegal occupation of land/ buildings; defacing of historical statues and symbols; illegal businesses and trio crimes.
“We monitor the progress of the investigations and court processes on arrests made for crimes relating to the 12 priorities specifically and in that process we monitored 2,514 arrests in 2,629 cases.”
He said 1,417 of those cases are on the court roll and 284 cases have been withdrawn.
“Nine persons have been acquitted and 487 found guilty on cases ranging from illicit drug trafficking, road safety and property-related crimes,” he said.
He said the figures were accurate as at 21 July 2015.
Meanwhile, Annandale said 6,781 foreign nationals were screened during operations between April and July 2015.
He said the screening outcomes netted 84 wanted individuals, 490 individuals linked to new cases, 429 awaiting trial with no prior convictions, 691 individuals awaiting trial with prior convictions and 2 829 individuals with no convictions.