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Polokwane was turned upside down during the first of the Festive Season operations conducted in and around the city last week. Crime fighters showed no mercy to those not abiding by the law.

Crunch time as city’s cops hit hard on criminals

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Polokwane Police in collaboration with other law enforcement structures displayed a zero tolerance approach towards crime in and around the city when the first of a series of planned Festive Season operations were conducted on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evening.
The success attained during these activities was a clear indication that criminals’ days are numbered in the city and law enforcers are geared for to leave no room for thugs to operate in.
The operations led to the arrest of suspects for drunken driving, public drinking and prostitution in the lower parts of the city. Law enforcers also visited taverns to check on illegal gambling and liquor licenses.
According to information crime fighters have already arrested 33 prostitutes and 37 drunken drivers since the beginning of October in Polo­kwane alone. It was learnt that the hotspots in the city remain Rissik, Market, Gen Joubert and Paul Kruger streets as well as the hitch-hiking spot in Thabo Mbeki Street where commuters are regularly targeted. At this spot hitch-hikers are offered a ride by motorists only to be robbed and dumped next to the road outside the city.
The operation on Wednesday evening saw law enforcers conducting a roadblock targeting motorists driving under the influence of alcohol. Several drivers were tested and those over the limit immediately detained.
Thursday evening started early when a convoy of law enforcing vehicles took to Dalmada where people are consuming alcohol in public on a daily basis. As forces arrived some of the suspects tried to flee but they were too slow for the crime combating team. Suspects were searched and loaded into Police vans while alcohol was confiscated.
The parking area at a shopping complex in Flora Park also came under the spotlight where several public drinkers were arrested. Before the convoy made its way to Flora Park dam officers paid a visit to a local liquor outlet in the complex where its liquor license was checked and two suspects arrested. The situation at Flora Park dam was calm since Police closed the area in an effort to limit crime contributors such as alcohol and drug abuse.
While some participating members visited a popular entertainment venue at Penina Park to check on their liquor licence others moved into the neighbourhood’s shopping complex where public drinking is also a common occurrence. From there crime fighters passed another tavern in Biccard Street before reaching the park opposite Hoër Tegniese Skool Tom Naudé where people and their vehicles were searched.
Liquor outlets in Bok and Dahl streets were also on the list to be raided. While officers scanned liquor licenses other officers and crime fighters searched people at the outlets and those drinking outside were immediately apprehended. Some sachets of dagga were also found at one of the outlets.
Another concerning issue in the lower parts of the city was also addressed. Polokwane Observer previously reported on the high number of prostitutes roaming the streets not only being a sore eye for the city but also impacts on businesses experiencing profit losses due to their presence.
Crime fighters had their hands full as prostitutes made a run for it when they realised that it is no regular clients stopping to make use of their services.
Brothels were raided and several sex workers removed and arrested. The focus on cleaning the city’s street of prostitutes continued on Friday evening when Police arrested 11 sexual workers who were traced either on streets or in brothels.

Story/photos:
RC Myburgh | [email protected]
Yolande Nel | [email protected]

A Malawian citizen’s passport is being checked by an officer.

Polokwane Visible Police Commander André Kotze checks the liquor license at one of the liquor outlets.

Crime fighters leave no stone – even a cap – unturned during the operation.

A Police officer searches through a citizen’s bag.

An alleged prostitutes makes a run for it as crime fighters give chase.

Two suspects are led to a Police van.

A crime fighter leads a suspect to a Police van.

A Police officer keeps the van’s door open to load suspects.

Trying to explain it not helping as a Police officer escorts a man caught drinking in public.

A client at a liquor outlet gets searched.

Clouds of smoke comes from a vehicle’s cabin as its occupants were vaping on the inside.

Bags found inside a vehicle are checked out.

Foreign nationals’ passport are checked out by an officer.

The pockets of an alleged public drinker are searched.

A vehicle’s license disc gets scanned.

A suspect is detained and searched.