A massive festive season crime crackdown in the Joburg CBD will see major shopping areas in the city ring fenced by police task teams ready to tackle robberies and raid bad buildings.
As part of the national Operation Duty Calls launched last month, the Joburg central cluster launched a special campaign to target criminals in the run up to the holiday season.
Yesterday police combed downtown Joburg conducting stop and searches around taxi ranks and businesses.
The aim was to prevent criminal and disorderly behaviour through “intelligence-led deployments and high-visibility public reassurance patrols”.
This week two shops, a Roman’s Pizza outlet in Bank City and a wholesaler in Bree Street, both in the Joburg CBD, were hit by robbers within minutes.
Now police say armoured vehicles have been deployed to crime hot spots and busy shopping areas, including Noord Street, to cut reaction times.
“We are now profiling all the car guards in the city centre,” said General Michael Mohlala, cluster commander of Joburg central. “We want to start holding them accountable for the cars they look after. Their work will also be linked to the businesses where they work.”
Mohlala said it was his area’s responsibility this festive season to ensure that the streets were safe, free of drugs, counterfeit goods, robberies and illegal weapons.
“We have already seized more than 25 firearms on the street since Duty Calls was launched,” he said.
Last night hundreds of people were stopped and searched near Noord Street taxi rank, several buildings were raided and counterfeit goods, including pornographic DVDs, seized.
Joburg central police spokesman Captain John Maluleke said police wanted to cut business robberies but also make taxi ranks safer.
“We want everybody who comes to Joburg to feel safe to do their shopping in the city this time around,” he said. He said all major shopping areas will be allocated a Nyala, the standard police riot-control vehicle, for 24-hour patrols.- Saturday Star