The Operation Duty Calls National Festive Season Crime-Fighting campaign has so far been a success with over 67,000 suspects arrested in all nine provinces, says Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa.
"The suspects were arrested in connection with crimes ranging from murder, robberies, rape, assault, kidnapping, attempted murder, murder, burglary at houses and business premises, drug related crimes, fraud and shoplifting.
"Among the successes achieved included searching 1,477,901 persons, 501,373 vehicles and conducting 3,614 road blocks," said Mthethwa on Tuesday during the release of a provisional report of the campaign which started on 15 December 2012 and will officially end on 31 January 2013.
On the arrest of people for drinking and driving, Mthethwa said he was concerned about the lack of adherence to the rules of the road, where 2,751 suspects were arrested for driving under the influence, which he said was exceptionally high.
Mthethwa noted that the behaviour of an individual cannot be enforced or be regulated by any law; it remains the responsibility of those using the roads.
Nationally, 451 stolen vehicles were confiscated with 296 suspects arrested for theft of motor vehicles and motor cycles.
In terms of violent crimes, only two cash-in-transit robberies and two banks robberies took place in the country during the whole festive season.
Among the notable success achieved through the operation included the arrest of 8,889 suspects for drug related crimes. Six million grams of dagga was confiscated, 2,832g of cocaine, 4,225g of nyaope as well as 2,551g of tik.
Mthethwa said there were specific drug houses that were raided and some of the kingpins arrested, and this was achieved through information sharing and coordination with different units, including the Hawks, Crime Intelligence and detectives.
In one of the biggest busts, two laboratories were raided in one day at Randburg and Roodepoort, four suspects were arrested and drugs to the value of R30m were confiscated.
Another notable progress was in the country's malls, where not a single robbery took place, Mthethwa attributed this success to the aspect of smart policing, which is anchored around utilising information, communication and technology to fight crime.
He raised concerns on sexual offences and crimes such as rapes against women, children and the elderly, where 1,357 suspects for rape and 82 for attempted rape. He warned that police officers are working around the clock to ensure that they secure harsher convictions of these suspects
In terms of public protests, 704 suspects were arrested for public violence with some of the cases being before the courts.
Mthethwa stressed that while they are satisfied with the results over the festive season, the tasks are still massive and believe that such successes will motivate men and women in blue to work even harder.
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