KIMBERLEY – A multi-disciplinary initiative, Operation Phakisa was executed in Port Nolloth, Kleinsee, Hondeklipbaai and Groenrivier specifically focusing on the enhancement and coordinated compliance and enforcement of security of the South African waters and coastal environment through an integrated multi-dimensional approach to ensure that the environment is conducive for the development of the ocean and economic security of the maritime zones. The operations also focused on the current COVID-19 mitigation efforts to secure the sea borderline and to ensure the safety and security of the SA citizens.
The focus areas addressed during the Operation included illegal activities in relation to marine related crimes and illicit sand mining. An integrated multi-disciplinary approach was followed and various internal and external roleplayers were involved in the operations inclusive of SAPS units namely, Port Nolloth SAPS, Upington Water Wing, Provincial Border police, Provincial Operational Response, Namakwa Crime Intelligence, Provincial Operational Coordination, Provincial Corporate Communication, Springbok POPS, Springbok K9, SARS Customs and the Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Land Reform and Rural Development
Actions and activities executed since the commencement on 02 April 2021 and ended on 04 April 2021 included:
– Stop and searches, vehicle check points and foot patrols;
compliance inspections focusing on illegal harvesting and recreational fishing;
– Compliance visits to the harbour, ports, yacht clubs, marinas, launching sites and docking bays;
– During the operation, the members interacted and engaged with tourists and locals to create awareness regarding permits for crayfish and other marine related activities.
Suspected drug houses were identified and raided for drugs where mandrax tablets and dagga was confiscated at addresses in Alexander Bay and Port Nolloth with a combined street value of R3000-00 and three suspected stolen cellular phones valued at R6000-00.
Vehicle checkpoints were conducted on the Steinkopf/Kleinsee intersections and Alexander Bay/Port Nolloth road during which 29 persons and 15 vehicles were stopped and searched.
Lobsters valued at R1250-00, Kob, Steenbras and filleted tuna were confiscated during vehicle checkpoints. Fines amounting to R2000-00 was issued for possession of fish without a permit.
The Acting Provincial Commissioner, Maj Gen Henriette de Waal applauded and appreciated the collective effort by sister departments to address and combat crime specifically concentrating on illegal activities in relation to marine related crimes in the coastal area.
Gen de Waal also indicated that the police in the province will tighten and put boots on the ground to win the war against crime squeezing the space for criminals to operate. She also stated that it is common knowledge that during the holiday periods there is an increase in the movement of people in the province, an increase in activities and an increase of traffic at shopping centers all resulting in a spike in crime.
Source: South African Police Service