For most of us the festive season is a time to relax and have fun, but for the police it's a time to be even more alert and ready for action. They have promised to make the holiday season a safe one for all South Africans and completely unbearable and dangerous for criminals.
Pulling out all the stops to make sure the holidays are incident-free, the South African Police Service will rely on the Operation Duty Calls Festive Season Crime-Fighting Campaign.
Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, who launched the campaign in Gauteng recently, said they would build on last year's lessons and successes. "We will also increase high visibility patrols at all tourist destinations."
Police will pay special attention to intensifying operations in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban, which are popular holiday destinations.
There will also be a strong presence at shopping malls and other public places.
Police operations will focus on crimes such as house and business robberies, cash-in-transit heists, ATM bombings, murder, rape and crimes against women and children.
Minister Mthethwa added that he wanted to read about failed robberies and criminals being arrested, instead of the increase in crime that is usually noted during the holidays.
"We will not just raise awareness about crimes at shopping malls and other public frequented areas during the festive season; our members will also be physically present to deal with any criminal."
In addition, the police will pay close attention to drug abuse during the festive season. The drug trade and the problems it has created were causing headaches across the world, the Minister noted. “The police will fight the drug trade will all the power and the means to its disposal.”
Minister Mthethwa added that the police would make certain that criminals did not get any “undeserved bonuses” this festive season.
The Minister called on police to crush the plans of the criminals before they could even get off the ground and urged all South Africans to help fight crime since it affected everyone.
“We view communities as the cornerstone and important role-players in government’s goal of effectively dealing with crime,” he said.
Police operations aimed at delivering a crime-free festive season started in September and will continue until January.