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2023/05/31      |  Written By:  Sergeant M Kareli   |   Province:  Free State

FREE STATE: 30 May 2023 - More than 500 suspects were arrested for different crimes during the high-density operations held throughout the province. These multi-disciplinary operations were held from 21 May 2023 to 28 May 2023. This was to address prevalent crimes such as possession of illegal firearms, murders, rapes, car and truck hijackings, robberies and cash in transit robberies. It also involves the tracing of wanted suspects for crimes related to gender-based violence and femicide, damage to infrastructure and stock theft.

More than 5000 people were searched, 2300 vehicles were searched and 251 suspicious buildings or premises were searched. 42 people were arrested for being in possession of dangerous weapons; 2 were arrested after ammunition pieces were found in their backpacks; 56 were arrested for dealing in drugs; 10 were arrested for robberies aggravating; 2 were arrested for murder; 8 for attempted murder; 23 were arrested for burglaries while 19 were arrested for malicious damage to property; and 30 for driving while under the influence of liquor or drugs. Six suspects were arrested in Dewetsdorp after police found them in possession of copper cable worth an estimated R500 000. The suspects were charged with possession of suspected stolen property and damage to infrastructure. Other arrests were made during our compliance visits as well as traffic related offences where drivers were found to be in contravention of the Road Traffic Act.

Confiscations were as follows: 52 live ammunition rounds and 1 firearm (.88 special pistol) after two suspects were arrested, each carrying a backpack near Wepener. Drugs such as nyaope, crystal meth and mandrax were also confiscated during the 7-day operation. In Bloemfontein the Southpark dumping site was visited on Friday where police found stolen property, drugs and even an illegal shebeen. Such operations will continue throughout the province with multiple road blocks, stop and searches, and increased police visibility at hot spots. This is to ensure that Free State residents and visitors in our province are and feel safe during their stay.