Minister Bheki Cele in Brits

Minister of police, Bheki Cele, visited Brits on Friday to officially launch Operation Safer Festive Season 2021/2022 in Brits, under the theme “Country in Blue: extending our reach through blue light visibility”.

Minister Bheki Cele (right) at the Brits taxi rank.

During the Police Minister‘s address, he said Brits was chosen due to the high numbers in gender-based violence cases.

The minister was accompanied by Premier of the North West, Mr Bushy Maape, and the Deputy Minister of Police, Cassel Mathale. The launch kicked off with a community engagement in Sonop, followed by a visit to the taxi rank in Brits and a formal presentation at the Brits Sportgrounds.

During his keynote address, Cele said the focus would largely be on high visibility of members at crime hotspot areas. This will include heightened visibility at tourist destinations, shopping centres, national roads and operations and patrols at all of South Africa’s border posts before, during and after the festive season.

As part of the Safer Festive Season campaign, all law enforcement agencies and key stakeholders will conduct operations countrywide until 31 January 2021.

The launch coincided with the introduction of the Youth Crime Prevention Strategy that aims to ensure that the youth are empowered and supported to become self-sufficient and become involved in crime-fighting initiatives.

According to the National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Khehla Sitole, the focus of the strategy is centred around amongst others, police visibility in areas where young people are most vulnerable, enhanced safety awareness, and the creation of means for the youth to participate in community-policing engagements.