More than 1000 Christmas arrests across central South Africa

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SABRINA DEAN – With well over 1000 people arrested across central South Africa since Christmas, police are urging communities to take responsibility for their own safety.

Free State police spokesperson Sinah Mapakane says 747 suspects were arrested for various crimes, ranging from murder and assault to robbery and alcohol related offences. She says a worrying trend is that more and more people are not locking doors and gates, thereby leaving themselves open to criminal attacks.

“During our operations we noticed the following crimes were on the increase, namely: burglary, rape, assault GBH and common assault. The factors that increase burglaries in our communities are that people are not locking their doors and gates,” she says.

North West police have meanwhile arrested more than 500 suspects during crime prevention operations conducted over the last six days.

Spokesperson Sabata Mokgwabone says 546 suspects were arrested for contact, contact-related, property related and other crimes and are expected to appear in various courts across the province today.

“The arrests are for various offences including five for murder, 130 for assault GBH and common assault, 26 for burglary residential and business, 21 for driving under the influence of liquor, 37 for drug related crimes, 10 for rape and 19 for possession of suspected stolen goods,” he says.

He says police were also able to confiscate drugs and issued in excess of 550 liquor and traffic related fines.

In the Northern Cape, officials placed a strong focus on crime prevention operations, as well as clamping down on traffic offenders. Spokesperson Andrea Cloete says liquor outlets were inspected to ensure license compliance and numerous traffic fines issued. Several arrests were also made.