The City of Cape Town’s Metro Police Department arrested 81 suspects in the last week – 40 of them for drug-related offences.
In an operation in Delft on Thursday 23 June 2016, officers rounded up 12 suspects for possession of dagga and confiscated large quantities of the drug, including 36 plastic bags and nearly 150 parcels. Other arrests included possession of illegal ammunition and dangerous weapons and drunk driving – one of them a motorist who was collared in Delft after colliding with a Metro Police vehicle.Metro Police Officers also arrested two suspects for cable theft after receiving a tip-off from a City employee who had spotted a group of men cutting cables at the Blue Ridge sports field in Kraaifontein. Officers arrived on scene and gave chase, apprehending two suspects and confiscating 5 kg of electric copper cables as well as four spanners used in the commission of the crime.
The City’s Metals Theft Unit had its fair share of success in the same area during a week-long stakeout prompted by complaints from the public. On Tuesday 21 June 2016, they arrested two Wallacedene residents aged 24 and 29 for stealing overhead copper cables in the vicinity of the Eben Donges sports field. Two days later, officers arrested the owners of an illegal scrapyard in Wallacedene for possession of stolen City of Cape Town infrastructure and on Saturday 25 June 2016, another Wallacedene resident (27) was arrested for attempting to steal infrastructure from a substation at the Blue Ridge sports field.
‘These are very good arrests and I’m hoping that the courts will use the recently introduced Criminal Matters Amendment Act to prosecute those arrested. Cable theft continues to be a very big headache and until we start making a real example of those caught, it’ll do very little to deter others. The legislation allows for stiff sentences for those convicted of tampering or damaging essential infrastructure and it needs to be put to good use,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.
On the roads, Cape Town Traffic Services arrested 192 suspects during a series of operations. This included 104 motorists caught for driving under the influence of alcohol at various roadblocks across the city.
One of those arrested for drunk driving was a supervisor with a security company who was on duty and in full uniform at the time of his arrest in Wynberg on Friday evening. Traffic officers had another curious case during an operation focusing on illegal drag-racing in the Strand/Gordon’s Bay area the night before. During an inspection of vehicles for roadworthiness during the operation, officers discovered R62 000 in cash in a vehicle belonging to one of the suspects arrested for illegal street racing.
At the same time, big brother caught up with more than 1 000 motorists through the City’s automated number plate recognition (ANPR) technology. A week-long operation saw the ANPR Unit arrest 75 motorists with outstanding warrants, serve 702 warrants, and release 284 warrant dodgers on a warning.
‘This is another warning to errant motorists to get their act together and avoid the pain and embarrassment of arrest for outstanding traffic fines. The solution is simple, really: just pay your fines when they’re due, or even better, abide by the rules of the road to avoid this kind of trouble. We are slowly expanding our ANPR capabilities, which will in future allow us to track down even more “scofflaws”,’ added Alderman Smith.
Cape Town Traffic Services arrested a further 13 motorists for outstanding warrants, reckless and negligent driving, and defeating the ends of justice. Officers also impounded 57 vehicles and issued 2 000 fines.