Polokwane - Hot on the heels of Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa's announcement of Operation Duty Calls to combat crime over the festive season, Limpopo's men and women in blue have announced that they are stepping up anticrime measures.
Provincial police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Motlafela Mojapelo said visible policing would be increased and regular road blocks conducted to search for dangerous weapons and clamp down on drunken driving.
"Since the beginning of November, we've arrested more than 100 people for crimes related to public drinking, drunken driving and possession of illegal firearms, among others," he said.
Lieutenant Colonel Mojapelo said members of the public should be aware that crimes at ATMs and cash robberies always increased during November and December, when people received end-of-year bonuses and often carried more cash than usual.
"It's preferable to avoid walking around with a lot of cash in your pockets. People should learn to use bank cards rather than cash when shopping," he said, adding that handbags get snatched a lot during this time of year and it was best to keep money on your person instead.
"ATM crimes can be avoided by being vigilant and not asking for help from strangers when you are withdrawing money. Rather ask security guards posted in shopping centres for help, if necessary."
Lieutenant Colonel Mojapelo said criminals also targeted items openly displayed in cars for snatching.
"Especially during peak traffic times, we encounter problems at crossings because cars are stuck in traffic. Motorists must keep their car windows closed at all times and lock valuable items in the boot," he said.
He also warned against getting lifts from strangers if one had too much to drink.
"Rather make use of public transport because criminals prey on drunk people who become careless under the influence of alcohol, which make them easy targets," he said.
For those going away during the holiday, Lieutenant Colonel Mojapelo advised asking relatives or friends to keep an eye on your property while you were gone.
"We will also be stepping up patrols around neighbourhoods because so many residences stand empty this time of year," he said.