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2023/06/07      |  Written By:  Colonel R Netshiunda   |   Province:  Kwazulu-Natal

DURBAN: 7 June 2023 – Relentless operations by police in KwaZulu-Natal have seen the arrests of 9 016 suspects for a variety of crimes including murders, attempted murders, rape and various types of robberies, including carjacking.

A total of 2 620 suspects were arrested for contact crimes. One hundred and fifty five of them were nabbed in connection with cases of murder, including a farm murder. One hundred and twenty two more suspects were bust after they were linked with cases of attempted murder. With murders committed with the use of firearms having shown signs of increase in the province, targeted operations at intelligence-identified areas were conducted and a total of 325 firearms, inclusive of 29 rifles and 19 shotguns were removed from society in the month of May. Over 3 000 rounds of ammunition of various calibre were also recovered.

The war against Gender-Based Violence has also been intensified and the police’s efforts in curbing the scourge has resulted in the arrests of 213 suspects for rape, 27 people were nabbed for sexual assault whilst seven more suspects were arrested for attempted rape. Nine suspects were also put behind bars for sexual offences. Investigators from the police’s Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Units (FCS) across the province have been hard at work and more than 11 life imprisonment sentences were attained in the month of May. One hundred and forty nine more people were arrested as a result of contravention of the Domestic Violence Act.

Fifty seven suspects were arrested for house robberies, 20 people were nabbed for carjacking and 33 suspects were bust for business robberies. Still on contact crimes, 1 245 suspects were arrested for cases of assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm. Six hundred and twenty four knives, 28 machetes, 21 fighting sticks and 2 axes were seized in the process. On the stock theft front, 17 suspects were arrested for theft of all stock. Thirty one cattle, 24 goats and nine sheep were recovered.

Drugs have also been identified as one of the contributing factors in the commission of crime. Dedicated teams of detectives and visible policing have managed to arrest 1 577 suspects for drug-related crimes and 34 people were also arrested for kidnapping.

The Provincial Commissioner of KwaZulu-Natal Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi has reiterated that high density operations have become a norm and will continue in order to create a safe and secure environment for all residents of KwaZulu-Natal and visitors alike. He challenged police officers to be patriotic enough to go the extra mile in ensuring the safety and security of people of KwaZulu-Natal. “Criminals cannot do as they please, lawlessness cannot be the order of the day and no one can walk all over us as law enforcement officers.

We have a Constitutional mandate to combat and prevent crime and that should be in our minds every time we report for duty. No area is a no-go area, no-one is untouchable and we must make our presence felt. We must enforce the law to a point where criminals run out of breath,” said Lieutenant General Mkhwanazi.