Polokwane: In a move to make Limpopo crime free during the festive season, police in the province have received 14 BMWs to use in their fight against crime.
Speaking during the handover in Polokwane on Thursday morning, Limpopo police commissioner Lieutenant General Simon Mpembe said police would be everywhere during the festive season.
“This festive season period in Limpopo, criminals will certainly feel uncomfortable and unwanted as police members will go out in full force to ensure a safe, secure and happy season for all its citizens,” said Mpembe.
Mpembe labelled the BMWs as high profile vehicle that would enable police officers to chase down criminals who rely on speed to evade arrest.
“The community can expect high police visibility over the coming months, with mobile roadblocks – with the support of SAPS Airwing – being conducted together with stop-and-searches and other crime prevention activities in the province,” he said.
The commissioner assured residents that the police officers in the province had pledged their commitment to make sure that Limpopo is safer over the festive season.
“With the festive season around the corner and with the expected influx of people into the province during this period, the police are already at an advanced stage of planning action and operations to keep the citizens of the province safe and secure,” he said.
Mpembe said the province had already made several arrests of wanted suspects in the past few weeks.
“(We also destroyed) more than 6000 firearms over the past weekend, most of which were confiscated during operations and arrests in the province.
“During this period we will not rest in our endeavours to make the province a safer place for all vulnerable communities, especially the elderly and our women and children. They must be able to walk and play freely without the threat of rape, murder or assault against them,” Mpembe said.
The police in Limpopo will target areas that have a history of contact crimes while officials form the South African Revenue Service and the Liquor Board will visit liquor outlets.
Community members have also been warned to avoid isolated areas and stop exposing themselves to crime by either leaving expensive items in their cars, withdrawing cash in isolated ATMs and unsafe hitchhiking.
“We will concentrate on police priority areas and criminal activities such as illegal liquor sales, especially to underage individuals, drug dealing, illegal possession of firearms and also tracking wanted criminals.
“Firearm owners are being sensitised to look after their firearms in order to ensure that they don’t get into the hands of criminals. Firearms should also not be taken to liquor outlets or kept in cars but should rather be in safes in terms of the Firearms Control Act,” said Mpembe.
Safety, security and liaison MEC Florence Radzilani said different law enforcement agencies in the province will play a role in making sure that the festive season is safe.
“We have made sure with all the law enforcements in the province to stop tragically crimes against women and children which we know are being committed behind closed doors and by loved ones or people well known to them,” said Radzilani.
“As we give these cars we don’t have to hear stories that criminals got away because there were no cars in the police station, criminals have to come across police wherever they go.”