The City of Cape Town’s (COCT) Law Enforcement agencies has confiscated at least 10 firearms during the month of August. Officers attached to the city’s Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) confiscated seven firearms and an imitation firearm, while Metro Police officers recovered two firearms.
The latest confiscations came on Saturday, August 21, when the Law Enforcement’s Rapid Response Unit arrested three suspects for the possession of an illegal firearm and ammunition.
Twelve hours later, Metro Police officers arrested a 29-year-old man in Alpine Road in Mitchells Plain, after he was found in the possession of a black imitation firearm. Another imitation firearm was also recovered from a suspected hijacked vehicle at an accident scene in Lansdowne. Six occupants fled the scene, but three of them were later apprehended.
According to the COCT’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, firearm recoveries and related arrests are a continuation of last month’s trend, where staff recovered at least 16 firearms. “On the one hand, this is truly sterling work by the enforcement services, but on the other hand, it raises numerous questions about the failure of the criminal justice system and the police to stop the constant introduction of illegal firearms onto our streets, especially the recent proliferation of imitation firearms,” Smith said.
Smith added that although an imitation firearm may not kill someone, more and more are being used in the commission of crimes.
“It remains a very traumatic experience for the person staring down the barrel of one of these firearms that are virtually indistinguishable from the real thing,” Smith reiterated.
Meanwhile, Law Enforcement Department made 81 arrests and issued 5 409 fines over the weekend.