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Cape Town’s increased metro police operations show excellent results

The City of Cape Town’s Metro Police significantly increased its presence on the roads in 2022 and consequently, it has seen a 69% increase in arrests in the six months from July through December of 2022 in comparison to the same period in 2021.

Notable increases in the detection of other crimes were reported, too, including the confiscation of contraband, firearms, and ammunition, and more assistance was rendered to motorists and incidents responded to on the N2 and R300.

The following table details the crime statistics reported by the city’s Metro Police over the two periods:

Category July-Dec 2022 July-Dec 2021 % increase
Attacks on officers 25 25 0%
Stolen/abandoned vehicles recovered 34 23 48%
Firearms recovered (incl. homemade) 40 21 90%
Imitation firearms recovered 45 23 96%
Ammunition 446 421 6%
N2/R300 incidents responded 1,967 1,564 26%
Arrests 3,089 1,830 69%
Drugs confiscated 11,951.75 10,054.25 19%

“The increase in arrests and related successes can be attributed to a number of factors,” said the city’s mayoral committee member for safety and security, Alderman JP Smith.

“[This includes] increased operations, both autonomous and joint undertakings with SAPS, ongoing and growing cooperation from members of the public who are sharing information about criminal activity, and our continued investment in technology and additional resources to amplify our policing efforts.”

Caught in the act

One of the most recent examples, the Cape Town Metro Police caught a criminal in the act on 27 January 2023, arresting a suspect in Hanover Park and in the process recovering a 9mm firearm and 30 rounds of ammunition.

“Officers responded to a Shotspotter alert, and on arrival, bystanders assisted with a description of the suspect who was tracked down and apprehended just a few minutes later,” said Smith.

The department also has a Strategic Surveillance Unit that monitors for, and dispatches resources to address crimes like smash and grabs.

In the period under review, 171 such incidents were detected by CCTV operators with most occurring between 15h00 and 21h00 and mainly on Jakes Gerwel Drive between the N2 and Voortrekker Road.

Moreover, the department noted 300 theft out of motor vehicle incidents at intersections during the same time – cases where items were stolen from stationary vehicles while motorists were driving with open windows and oftentimes unlocked doors.

The police said it still comes across an alarming number of drivers that have their valuables like handbags and phones on display on the passenger seat or clearly visible somewhere else in the vehicle which can attract unwanted attention.

“The City urges the public to be extremely vigilant while on the road, not just at known hotspots, but at all times, as these crimes are opportunistic in nature and can occur at any time,” said Smith.

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