DURBAN – Police Minister Bheki Cele says many crime-fighting successes have been made during the lockdown period. This includes a reduction in the number of hijackings and murders when compared to the previous year. The Minister was briefing the media on the levels of compliance with the country’s lockdown regulations on Friday.
Cele said that at the end of April, while on level 5 there were 107,000 complaints to the police and 118,000 people charged with contravening regulations.
“The highest number of arrests for breaking lockdown regulations -almost mirror the provincial infection rates, with the Western Cape on the lead followed by Eastern Cape, KZN and Gauteng.
“The arrested persons were issued with fines or released with warnings while some were out on bail and cases relating to more serious offences were before the respective courts around the country,” said Cele.
The Minister added that there has been a 68,4 percent decrease in reported Gender-Based Violence (GBV) cases during the lockdown from 2019.
“I have noted media reports that Gender-Based Violence have gone up. If we compare the period March 27 to May 21, 2019, with the lockdown period from March 27 to May 19, 2020, there is a sharp decrease from 21 033 in 2019, to 6 651 cases of domestic violence during the lockdown, giving us a percentage decrease of 68,4 percent,” he said.
Since the start of the lockdown, 230 000 cases have been opened for people who have allegedly been found in contravening the following regulations: liquor-related offences, cigarette-related offences, illegal gathers, failure to confine to a place of residence.
“There are 121 stations countrywide where members have tested positive and the stations were decontaminated with the Western Cape being hardest hit,” said Cele.
In addition, Cele said: “We have also observed an increase in smuggling of contraband (liquor and tobacco) between South Africa’s land borders with Botswana, eSwatini, Lesotho, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, as well as the sale of these products in the black market.”
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