Citizens warned to be alert amid heightened crime levels

With the festive season officially in full swing, Police Minister Bheki Cele is calling on South Africans to be cautious and vigilant during this period as criminals will be out and about, ready to pounce on the unsuspecting. The Police Ministry noted on Wednesday, 22 December – just three days before Christmas, that people have already started flocking to malls and other outlets to complete their shopping for the holidays, something which criminals are well aware of and often use to their advantage.

Cele and other police top brass have been criss-crossing the country as part of their ‘Safer Festive Season Inspection Tour.’ On Wednesday, they were in the Northern Cape to monitor preparations and progress by the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the province, to combat crime during the holiday period.

According to the Police Ministry, the SAPS Safer Festive Season operational plan rests on six pillars namely;

  • Crimes against women and children
  • Aggrieved robberies
  • Boarder security
  • By-law enforcement
  • Road Safety
  • Firearm Control, Liquor, second hand Goods


Bheki Cele’s office has encouraged SAPS members to proceed with caution and agility this festive season, particularly in how they take on crime as the peak holiday season is characterised by malls and shopping centres abuzz with shoppers. The Police Ministry also says the holiday period also means people are walking around with cash in their pockets, which makes them the perfect targets for criminals.

When he addressed SAPS members in Upington, Cele called on them to outsmart criminals who plan to ruin Christmas.

“Outsmarting criminals will require a lot of work, so use your Intelligence collection wisely and the increased deployment of personnel and police visibility must be heightened. I am glad that I have seen the respective operational plans by provinces to curtail aggravated robberies such as Cash- In- transit heists, car- jackings as well as home and business robberies. Now it’s about enforcing the law and being a step ahead of anyone who even thinks of ruining Christmas,” he said.

Cele has also warned residents in Upington about some of the crime trends prevalent during the festive season.

“Yes, police are out in full force and are going to do their very best to protect you but you as communities need to also play your part. Don’t allow yourself to be easy targets for criminals. These thugs know you have extra cash and you are excited to be off work and with your loved ones – but don’t let that excitement end in disappointment. Be proactive in your safety and don’t be sitting ducks,”

Police Minister Bheki Cele

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