Gauteng to be safe during festive season

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pretoria - Gauteng Provincial Commissioner Lt General Mzwandile Petros on Wednesday assured Gautengers that this festive season police will be on the beat to ensure their safety.

He warned criminals that police will not be complacent during the festive season.

According to Lt General Petros, Gauteng police started with the festive security strategy as early as August.

Addressing the media in Johannesburg this morning, Lt General Petros said police will also ensure the province's roads are safe during the festive season.

He expressed concern on the growing use of drugs in the province, saying what worried him more was that these drugs were finding their way into schools.

"We are aware that many drug factories are here in Gauteng," he said.

On cash-in-transit heists and shopping mall armed robberies, Lt General Petros said there has been remarkable reduction in these crimes.

During the festive season, police officers will be deployed in all the province's strategic areas.

On Tuesday, Lt General Petros presented an overview of the 2011/2012 crime statistics to the Gauteng community safety committee.

He said there had been a decline in serious crimes such as armed robberies, assault, murder, and car-hijacking.

Lt General Petros said crimes such as theft out of vehicles, illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs were on the increase.

He expressed concern on the use of car-jamming devices to steal from vehicles. "This crime has been on the increase across shopping centres in the province," he said.

Thieves use household remotes to block car remotes from locking vehicles, with the owner unaware that the car was unlocked and thereafter help themselves to valuables in the vehicle as soon as the owner walks away.

Lt General Petros advised motorists to be alert and make sure that their vehicles are locked before moving away.

According to the crime statistics, there were 18 bank robberies in 2011/2012, compared to 25 in 2010/2011.

Cash-in-transits heists saw a 55 percent reduction, from 122 to 54 in 2011/2012.

There was a 37 percent reduction in ATM bombings, from 211 reported cases to 132.

During the festive season, police record high number of break-ins in private homes because criminals take advantage that people have gone on holidays. -