After an intervention by Police Minister Bheki Cele, police in the Eastern Cape have made inroads over the festive season in the notorious gang-infested northern areas of Port Elizabeth.
Since the deployment of the National Intervention Unit (NIU) on December 3, police have confiscated drugs to the value of R500,000. Detectives at the Provincial Gang Investigation Unit have taken on 34 new cases comprising of 40 arrests.
In addition, 79 arrests were effected in which 10 illegal firearms and 122 rounds of ammunition were recovered, provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana said.
Kinana said confiscated drugs included tik, cocaine, mandrax and schedule 5 medication.
During an operation in a hotspot area of Helenvale today, a 33-year-old man driving a white Polo was arrested for allegedly being in possession of an illegal firearm and ammunition.
The man was pulled over during a stop-and-search between Reginald and Voisen streets, just opposite the Gelvandale Police Station.
According to the police, the firearm was found in a box under the driver’s seat.
With a heavy police presence, the operation was flighted at the infamous “Die Gaat” in Helenvale where Vehicle Check Points (VCP) were being carried out.
According Kinana, VCP was carried out daily in the northern areas comprising a large geographical area in the city which included Gelvandale, Helenvale, Booysens Park and Bethelsdorp.
Kinana said crime analysis was done on a daily basis and from there members were deployed to various hotspots.
Provincial Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Liziwe Ntshinga implemented the National Intervention Unit (NIU) and Tactical Response Team (TRT) to assist current deployment which includes the Crime Combating Unit (CCU) and Visible Gang Intervention Team who deal with gangsterism and the ongoing violence in the area.
At the time, Cele had also promised that a new police station would be built at Booysens Park within the next 10 months.
Today, police were on the hunt for drugs and guns and effected two search warrants at homes in Voisen and Blesbok streets. Explosive Detection dog, Max, sniffed out the two homes, however no suspected illegal guns and drugs were discovered.
A frustrated Elaine Petrus of Voisen Street said that while she understood that police were doing their jobs, she believed that police were searching the wrong homes.
Petrus said that police had searched her home five times since Christmas and she believed police were being played by their informants.
“You are free to come and search , you are free to do your jobs. But those people who are giving you [police] the information I’ll pray for them,” she said.
“They are giving the wrong information, they are giving information that don’t lead to the gangsters homes.”
– African News Agency (ANA)