New appointees increase police visibility

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National police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Kgomotso Phahlane, revealed that more than 80 000 people have been arrested for various crimes during the festive period in the country, 5 986 of them from the Free State.
Phahlane said 83 479 criminals had been arrested for crimes ranging from murder, illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, drugs, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and sexual offences.
Of the 4 953 newly appointed constables, the Free State received 82. FS SAPS provincial spokesperson, Brigadier Motansi Makhele, said that this helped to increase the visibility of the police, which led to lower crime occurrences during the festive season. Makhele said their main focus during the festive season was on liquor outlets. The police clammed down on illegal taverns and shebeens in efforts to reduce high levels of alcohol consumption.
The police also managed to seize 90 stolen sheep and 12 stolen cattle. The majority of drug seizures was for cannabis at 1 069 262 grams. Police seized 14 cars which were used to commit crimes, while 10 stolen cars were retrieved. They made 425 ammunition seizures, and one for explosives.
Brigadier Makhele concluded the police worked well with the community during the campaign. And unlike in previous cases where residents would complain at roadblocks, the police received positive feedback on their operations. – Seithati Semenokane 
seithati@centralmediagroup.co.za