On Monday, Police Minister Bheki Cele announced a new stabilisation intervention plan that will put an end to serious and violent crime in South Africa. The plan includes mobilising officers to increase visible policing and reactivating cold cases.
Speaking during a media briefing at the South African Police Service (SAPS) training academy in Pretoria, Cele said the recent plague of serious and violent crimes has instilled fear in innocent, vulnerable and law-abiding citizens.
“We will also be mobilising all police (functional) members that are ordinarily tasked with administration duties to augment the visibility of police officers, particularly in identified hotspot areas in all provinces,” he said.
Cele said provinces such as KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Western Cape will be boosted by the deployment of Lieutenant Generals. The intention of the stabilisation intervention plan is to combat crimes such as cash-in-transit heists, car hijacking, murders, gang violence and its related crimes, taxi violence and house robberies.
A number of teams will be dedicated to tracking and arresting wanted suspects as a part of the Organised Crime Threat Analysis (OCTA) approach.
“In order to ensure a sustainable stabilisation of crime, we realised that we would also need to ensure a downward management of ‘red dockets’ (cold cases),” he said.
In the downward management of cold cases, dedicated detectives will work around the clock to gather information and evidence to identify those that are responsible for committing serious and violent crimes. This will be a multi-disciplinary activation plan, and has been dubbed ‘squeezing the space for criminals through an offensive approach’.
“Moving forward, we will ensure high density visibility of uniformed police officers on foot and vehicles, supported by the SAPS air wing, continuous cordon and search operations, continuous roadblocks and relentless search for wanted suspects,” Cele said.
He also spoke about the prevalence of illegal firearms in the country, and how the police will deal with this.
Police will offer a space of amnesty for those who have guns, to bring them in without any questions. “We will be putting our plan [in place] to make life very tough for those who keep illegal firearms,” he said.
National Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Khela Sitole, committed to flush out of the system any police officer involved in crime. This comes after allegations of police officers being involved in robberies and hijackings.
Police have also ‘beefed up’ their 10111 call centres, saying that helicopters will be on standby for activation. “With our response times, I want to promise you that it will change,” he said.