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These officers will be sent to crowded and popular entertainment spots.

Police minister Bheki Cele has waged war on crime this festive season, announcing the addition of 10 000 more police officers on the ground from next week.

Crime is expected to increase over the December period, with an increase in stabbings already recorded. Private investigator Mike Bolhuis told The Citizen recently that crime could escalate between 200 to 300 percent.

In response, police have bolstered their numbers, with Cele announcing on Sunday that an additional 10 000 police officers would be deployed by the 15th of December.

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They have been undergoing police training and will graduate next week. These officers will be sent to crowded and popular entertainment spots.

“We have no doubt the new members will provide a much-needed boost to the current policing numbers and amplify our law enforcement efforts. These officers will be deployed to sanitise the streets and increase the footprint of the police in all nine provinces.”

He said high-visibility policing was one of the best ways to deal with crime.

Arrests

He said over 259,000 people have been arrested for various crimes over the last six months, with most from the Western Cape and Gauteng. He also noted an increase in women taking part in serious and violent crimes.

Police are also clamping down on illegal immigrants and zama zamas.

Over 4,000 illegal mining suspects have been arrested this year, said the minister, with over 130 arrested in just one day earlier this month.

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On Thursday Limpopo police intercepted 11 minibus taxis and bakkies carrying more than 130 undocumented nationals from Zimbabwe heading to Polokwane. Among those discovered were 73 children between 6 months and 17-years-old.

The SA Border Management Authority (BMA) earlier this month intercepted 42 buses transporting  443 children across the Beitbridge border post into South Africa. Some of the children were under the age of eight years and travelling without parents or guardians. The Zimbabwean government disputed this number, saying it was only 124 children.

Mob justice

Police will also be on the lookout for incidents of mob justice. Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Hlulani Mashaba told The Citizen of the 237 murder cases opened in the province between July and September, 37 were acts of vigilantism.

NOW READ: Mob justice ‘could increase more’ over the festive season, as trust in police decays

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