October 1 2017 – SAPS officers in the Western Cape have confiscated almost 200 illegal firearms during September, police said on Sunday (today).
“The recent spate of serious and violent crime experienced in areas such as Philippi East and the greater Nyanga area [in Cape Town]indicates that there are far too many firearms in the wrong hands,” says Captain FC van Wyk.
“During the month of September the SAPS in the Western Cape also had to endure countless attacks on our members who are fulfilling their mandate by working hard at keeping our communities safe from the harm caused by ruthless criminals,” he said.
“We are happy to report that the efforts to deliver responsive and effective policing under dangerous circumstances have paid off. During the month of September 2017 a total of 196 firearms were seized by police on the ground who were taking part in crime prevention duties.”
The public had also done their part in providing useful information and many tip-offs to police. It had been a concerted effort in which many role players collaborated, which proved that, together, South Africans could stand up and make an impact on criminality.
The confiscations of illegal firearms in September and the accompanying investigations led to the arrest of 218 people for the illegal possession of firearms, Van Wyk said.
The Nyanga policing cluster led with 46 firearms confiscated and 46 arrests, followed by the Bluedowns cluster with 26 firearms confiscated and 31 arrests. In the Khayelitsha cluster 26 firearms were seized and 30 arrests were made, and in Mitchell’s Plain 28 firearms were confiscated and 37 arrests made.
These operational interventions were continuing and by following the “back to basics” approach police were forging ahead to enable communities to take back their streets from the criminals terrorising them.
At the same time community members were urged to refrain from taking the law into their own hands. Meeting violence with further violence could only lead to increased criminality, he said.
“Our energies are best channelled towards a consistent effort to bring perpetrators to book and thereby forcing them out of our communities in an integrated and lawful manner. The SAPS management in our province wish to congratulate our brave members on the ground for their constant hard work. The contributions from our community members are not going unnoticed and are much appreciated.
“Let us continue to work together and report all suspicious activities to the police on the toll free Crime Stop number 08600-10111. All information will be treated with confidentiality. Every small piece of information can lead to great success. If these figures could be achieved in September alone, imagine what can happen in future months when the police’s efforts intensify towards the festive season,” Van Wyk said.