FS police arrest about 900 in one week

Police at a roadblock in Bloemfontein. PHOTO: SAPS

In a bid to curb crime in the Free State, the police joined forces with several law enforcement agencies in the province to net 918 people during Operation Shanela.

According to police spokesperson, Loraine Earle, police worked hand in hand with private security companies, the Department of Home Affairs, the Department of Correctional Services, the Department of Small Businesses, the Department of Labour, the Traffic Department and other law enforcement agencies.

“The actions included 255 premises, 6 083 persons and 2 166 vehicles being searched. Seven roadblocks were conducted, of which one was in Bethlehem on Friday (7/7). The police also visited malls in and around Bohlokong and Bethlehem, where the Provincial Commissioner of the Police in the Free State, Lieutenant-General Baile Motswenyane, interacted with the community in a soft-approach policing strategy,” said Earle.

She added that the police inspected 241 licenced liquor premises, 103 second-hand dealers and 40 scrapyards/recyclers in the province.

“During these inspections, eight notices were issued to second-hand dealers. Police and relevant stakeholders visited 83 informal businesses like spaza shops to ensure labour law compliance.

“In another action, the police, the Department of Home Affairs, and the Department of Labour visited 760 farms to ensure labour law compliance, which also increased visibility in rural areas,” she further said.

Earle stated that of the seven people arrested for murder, three were women who were arrested for allegedly murdering their partners in Tseki, Koffiefontein, and Clarens.

“Police also arrested 33 for being in possession of a dangerous weapon, 54 for drug-related offences, 10 for armed robbery, 2 for business robbery, 3 for house robbery, 9 for attempted murder, 93 for assault GBH, 84 for common assault, 2 for business burglary, 20 for residential burglary, 24 for malicious damage to property and 15 for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. One of them was arrested near Verkeerdevlei on the N1, where the truck driver also tried to bribe a police officer on Friday afternoon,” she said.

She added that the police also arrested 381 wanted suspects in tracing operations by the detective services.

“Police confiscated about 1 195 litres of alcohol, 31 dangerous weapons, dagga, crack cocaine, tik, nyope, and Mandrax,” said Earle.

Compiled by Justine Fortuin