On Thursday, 24 March 2016, the Minister of Police, Mr Nkosinathi Nhleko and the Acting National Commissioner of the South African Police Service, Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane, officially launched Operation Lockdown in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape.
Operation Lockdown is an unique policing intervention aimed at stabilizing affected areas and combatting gang-related violence and criminal activity in the precincts of Bethelsdorp and Gelvandale in Port Elizabeth. This flows from the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster’s direction, on 21 February 2016, that multi-disciplinary action should be taken to pro-actively tackle gangsterism in those areas.
As a department, the South African Police Service planned and implemented a management intervention from the Office of the Acting National Commissioner. The Deputy National Commissioner: National Management Interventions, Lieutenant General Gary Kruser, is personally supervising the process and reporting directly to the Acting National Commissioner. Command and control over Operation Lockdown remains vested at the national office while the Provincial Commissioner and her team are vigorously implementing the plan.
Since the launch of the operation, the following successes were achieved to date (24/03 to 28/03):
No of Arrests – Type of Crime
16 – Possession of / Dealing in Drugs including dagga, tik and mandrax
3 – Possession of hijacked vehicle – stolen in Gelvandale
1 – Civil Aviation Act – pointing a laser at helicopter
2 – Attempted Murder
2 – Possession of firearm and ammunition
1 – Dealing in liquor without a licence
Number of Confiscations – Type of Exhibits Seized
268 – rolls of dagga
8 – Dagga plants
137 – Mandrax tablets
16 – Rock cocaine pipes
8 – Tik pipes
190 – Tik packets
12+1 – Knives and a pair of scissors
1 – Corsa Lite vehicle found abandoned in Gelvandale. Vehicle was stolen in Humewood in March 2016
1 – Nissan bakkie found abandoned in Bethelsdorp. Vehicle was stolen in Bethelsdorp in March 2016
1 – Mazda Midge found in possession of 3 suspects in Gelvandale
1 – Hard Drive
1 – Relay box used to upgrade cameras
R9521 – Cash
2 – 9mm magazines
37 – Rounds of ammunition
1 – Toy gun
120 – Stilpane tablets
1 – 9mm Norinco pistol
All the arrested persons appeared in the various courts on Tuesday, 29 March 2016.
The additional police members deployed from both the National and Provincial offices have started to pay dividends, as the high police visibility curbed serious crime during the Easter weekend in the Bethelsdorp and Gelvandale precincts.
The Minister of Police, Mr Nhleko, assured the communities that the police presence is part of a broader government strategy, aimed at bringing stability to the area so that the social development environment could also become involved in community matters to improve the lives of those living, schooling and working there.
At the launch on Thursday, Lt Gen Phahlane said: “We are going to make the lives of the criminal element in those areas uncomfortable. We are doing this, as the SAPS, because we have listened to the community and we want to support them and make their lives safer by taking the gangs’ illicit markets away from them”.
The Provincial Commissioner of the Eastern Cape, Lt Gen Celiwe Binta, has reiterated that the police deployed in the Northern areas are committed to fighting these heinous crimes and to ensure that the communities in these areas ARE and FEEL safe. Lt Gen Binta worked with the intervention teams during the entire long weekend and was directly involved in all the operations on the ground. She also urged the communities to come forward and report criminals.
Information may be reported anonymously on 08600 10111 or to Colonel Ralane on 082 442 1663. All information reported to police will be treated as strictly confidential. Be the eyes and ears of the police and together we can make our communities safer.
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