The statistics do not include crimes typically handled by the South African Police Service (SAPS).
Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba said: “The arrests that we’ve been able to make through operation #BuyaMthetho since last year are quite impressive”.
The City of Joburg’s operation Buya Mthetho, launched last year, has led to an increase in arrests for various violations. David Tembe, chief of the JMPD, said most arrests made since the operation was launched were for drunk-driving (traffic violations) and illegal connections (city by-laws).
Since January, the JMPD has arrested 7 283 people for drunk-driving. This was slightly less than the 8 803 arrests made in the previous period. There was, however, an increase in the number of arrests made for reckless or negligent driving – 1 449, compared to 222 in the previous period.
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There has also been a general increase in arrests for a variety of crimes, including assault (from 21 to 89), bribery of an officer (from 18 to 33), residential burglary (from one to 28), vehicle theft (from five to 89), rape (from four to 45) and public violence (from 31 to 189).
The top two crimes in all regions, however, were drunk-driving and reckless or negligent driving. Despite this, there was an 11% reduction in the number of vehicle accidents and a 13% decrease in the number of fatalities related to driving.
Tembe said he was worried about the high number of drunk-driving cases “not going anywhere” and announced that a unit had been established to follow up on cases of drunk drivers who had been arrested.
In terms of by-law violations, 24 people were arrested for illegal electricity connections, 135 trucks were impounded and five window-washers were arrested.
Mashaba said that partnerships with private security companies contributed to the success of operation Buya Mthetho. According to Mashaba, 1 600 newly insourced workers, who reported for duty on Sunday, were the first of 4 000 security contract workers which the city planned to insource.
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“The next phase of insourcing for the remaining workers will be implemented over the next two months,” Mashaba said.
He praised private security firm Bad Boyz, which operated within the inner city.
“They assisted with securing the crime scene and the building where one of the suspects was found after they had fatally shot a JMPD safety officer [last week],” Mashaba said.
There was an increase in service delivery protests from the previous period, which Mashaba attributed to people being “lied to for many years”. Tembe said, while there has been a reduction in road fatalities, “more needs to be done”.
Mashaba said the JMPD would be releasing its crime statistics monthly in an effort to force the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to attend to its cases. According to Mashaba, the city had referred more than 60 cases to the NPA, which it is yet to investigate.