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City announces plans for crime-free festive season

The City of Johannesburg’s Member of the Mayoral Committee for Public Safety, Cllr Michael Sun, issued a stern warning to law-breakers as he officially launched the Festive Road Safety campaign in Wanderers Street in the Johannesburg CBD on Tuesday December 6.

The campaign – a joint operation between the Johannesburg Metropolitan Department (JMPD), Emergency Management Services (EMS) and Johannesburg Disaster Management in co-operation with the South African Police Service (SAPS) – is part of the City’s mission to prevent crime, by-law violations, car hijackings, robberies, theft, fires, floods, emergencies and disasters.

Cllr Sun said criminals would have nowhere to hide during the festive season and motorists who failed to obey the rules of the road would also have to face the full might of the law.

His warning comes in the wake of the killing of two suspected robbers after three shootouts and a robbery attempt at four shopping centres in Gauteng at the weekend. A six-year-old boy is in a serious condition in hospital after he was hit by a stray bullet while sitting in a car at the Lifestyle Centre in Centurion.

Cllr Sun said the JMPD, assisted by the SAPS, would patrol the streets and man roadblocks in every corner of Johannesburg to protect law-abiding citizens.

“We want to make this festive season a safe and crime-free one. We will not tolerate any criminal activity or the breaking of the rules of the road,” he said.

Cllr Sun said the festive season was a period when normal business activity ended or was scaled down. He said this was also the period when many people took leave and travelled to various places of entertainment and recreation and shopping centres.

“Unfortunately the festive season also gives criminals the opportunity to target shoppers, businesses, homes and children. There is definitely a marked increase in criminal activity that requires the police and JMPD officers to be on high alert, with greater visibility on main roads, highways and exit routes.

“During this period, there is flagrant disregard of the rules of the road, which results in the loss of lives or serious injuries through reckless driving, drinking and driving and failing to reduce speed on wet roads,” he said.

Cllr Sun said all this would not be tolerated. He also appealed to residents to use fireworks in a reasonable and considerate way so as not to cause any harm to others and animals.

“I have full confidence in the men and women of JMPD and emergency services to carry out their work effectively and efficiently. We also have the use of closed circuit television to assist in the fight against crime,” he said.

Accompanied by Chairperson of the Section 79 of Public Safety Committee, Cllr Hilton Masera, the MMC moved to the nearby Noord Street Taxi Rank to distribute pamphlets and urge taxi drivers to drive safely during the festive season.​