Police Minister Bheki Cele says South Africans will experience a safer festive season despite the nation’s troubling crime statistics.
As reported by City Press, Cele said that police reservists, including office-bound members, will be called in to help during the festive season.
The Minister added that many permanent reservists have been employed over the last two years, which helped to combat criminal activity across the country.
“It’s on this score that we want to give a firm warning to criminals and those planning to conduct themselves outside the law,” he said.
“Police are under strict instructions to squeeze out criminality and all its manifestation. The arm of the law won’t be selective, nor will it be kind.”
“The police won’t negotiate with criminals.”
Cele’s comments came during the release of the Q2 2023/24 (July to September 2023) crime statistics, which showed that violent crime is still pervasive in South African society.
Although there was a 0.8% year-on-year decrease in the numbers in South Africa, there was a 12.3% increase in the number of attempted murders over the same period.
Other violent crimes, such as common robbery (up 3.7%) and assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm (up 2.5%), also increased.
Commercial crimes also spiked over the period, with shoplifting increasing by 5.5% amidst the challenging economic environment.
The Q2 2023/24 crime stats can be found below:
Cape Town’s plan
The South African Police Service is not alone in beefing up its safety operation during the festive season, with The City of Cape Town deploying its own special Tourism Unit over the holiday period.
The personnel from this Tourism Unit will operate at the Table Mountain National Park and in the CBD.
The city has also partnered with the SAPS, SANParks, CIDs, and neighbourhood for the initiative.
“Safety is a top priority for the city, with over 4,000 uniformed enforcement and emergency personnel available in shifts as part of the city’s largest-ever safety deployment over a festive season,”’ said Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.
“Aside from general crime prevention activities, the city is making a special deployment of 80 personnel for dedicated safety, patrolling tourism routes at Signal Hill, Lion’s Head, Devil’s Peak, Table Mountain trails, the Bo-Kaap, Waterfront, and CBD.”
“Safety technology will also be a key feature of our festive operations, including drones, dashcams, automatic number plate recognition, and CCTV. This is part of the city’s major safety technology investment, amounting to R860 million over three years.”