The City of Johannesburg has announced its “Safer Festive Season”‘ campaign, which looks to reduce crime in the nation’s economic hub.
The Public Safety Department’s Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD), Emergency Management Services (EMS), Licencing, and Disaster Management will all be involved in the campaign.
The city said that the campaign will focus on by-law management, fire safety, the management of fireworks displays, drowning prevention, flash floods, anti-fraud and corruption, event management, and incident and disaster management compliance.
“As we approach the holiday period, the Public Safety Department will be on high alert and will implement additional measures to enhance visible road policing, emergency management, and crime prevention as criminals become more active as the community is relaxed and residents are left vulnerable,” the MMC for Public Safety, Mgcini Tshwaku, said.
Tshwaku added that a Tactical Response Unit will be sent to crime hotspots, whilst roadblocks will be set up across the metro.
The campaign looks at several key areas to improve public safety, including crime prevention, reduced road fatalities, drunk driving, vehicle and driver fitness, public transport compliance, and pedestrian safety awareness.
With the surge in road users over the festive season, South African roads are renowned for their high fatalities. Tshwaku added that dangerous driving practices, such as driving under the influence, become more prevalent on Joburg roads during the season.
More police everywhere
The City of Johannesburg is not alone in beefing up its operations over the festive period, with the City of Cape Town also deploying its largest festive tourism safety operation, which includes a special Tourism Unit.
Police Minister Bheki Cele also said police reservists will be deployed to help during the festive season.
“It’s on this score that we want to give a firm warning to criminals and those planning to conduct themselves outside the law,” Cele 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.”