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2023/07/18      |  Written By:  Sergeant M Kareli   |   Province:  Free State

FREE STATE: 17 July 2023 - Police efforts to reduce crime and remove criminal elements in the province continue to bear fruit, as more than 800 people were arrested in one week. All five Districts in the Free State province took part in the high-density, multi-disciplinary operation backed up by intelligence-led information to ensure that criminals were brought to book. With that being said, two firearms were seized during these operations in Namahadi and Meloding.

In the fight against drug abuse, members, with the help of the communities, managed to arrest eight suspects for dealing in drugs and fifty for possession, while drugs such as cocaine, dagga, crystal meth, nyaope and mandrax were found in their possession. Eight suspects were arrested for robberies and 37 were booked for possession of dangerous weapons.

Gender-based violence and assault incidents poked through as two suspects were arrested for rape and 125 suspects were arrested for assault. In Maokeng Kroonstad, station management used a soft approach by holding an Imbizo where they shared information with the locals.

A vehicle was stolen and shortly thereafter recovered, with five suspects arrested in Mangaung, Bloemfontein. Thirteen people were arrested for driving while under the influence, while 66 people were arrested for being illegal in the country.

Crime combating operations have an enormous impact on stabilising our communities and infrastructure damage is placed as one of the priorities in the province,which led to the recovery of copper cables and arrests. Eight robbery suspects were detained and 29 suspects were arrested for burglaries, while 14 were booked in for malicious damage to property.

Police further arrested 351 suspects during tracing operations throughout the five districts. Members also conducted regular stop and searches, vehicle checkpoints, roadblocks, cordon and searches, high-visibility patrols with the involvement of the Department of Labour and the Department of Home Affairs, including Traffic Law enforcement. More than 105 suspects were also arrested for other crimes, such as traffic violations and contraventions of the Secondhand Goods Act.

Free State Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Baile Motsoenyane encouraged members to continue putting the interests of the public they serve first. This is slowly having a positive ripple effect as the community regains trust in their police service. "We can't win this battle without the involvement of our communities and therefore we thank the community of Maokeng who showed up for the Imbizo on Friday. The police will continue with this clean-up operation called Shanela," said Lt Gen Motswenyane.