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Eastern Cape pilots SAPS’s first Operation Command Centre

PORT ELIZABETH, July 24 (ANA) – The Deputy Minister of Police, Bongani Mkongi, was in Port Elizabeth on Monday to officially hand over the Mount Road Cluster Operational Command Centre, the first of its kind in the country.

The OCC has been operational since October last year, after the conclusion of Operation Lockdown.

According to police top brass, the OCC in the Eastern Cape has since yielded results in the fight against organised crime.

The Mount Road cluster, made up of seven police precincts, implemented and piloted the OCC concept which focuses on intelligence-led policing.

The OCC is a point from which intelligence-led crime prevention and combatting operations are initiated, coordinated and monitored at all levels.

Mkongi said that the Cluster OCC concept would be rolled out to all provinces and had so far been launched in the Blue Downs Cluster in the Western Cape and the Johannesburg Central Cluster in Gauteng.

“Before the end of the year it is anticipated that the roll out to all provinces will be complete,

“This is not a fake plastic thing, we have seen successes. This is a scientific approach,” Mkongi said.

“The Research Division of the South African Police Service has validated the OCC concept and Mount Road Cluster has progressed from being the pilot cluster to being a fully operational OCC,” said Mkongi.

According to police, between April 2016 and June this year, members had effected 1,457 arrests within the Mount Road Cluster.

Some successes during this period included the confiscation of :

– 156 firearms
– 671 knives
– 75 vehicles
– 2,9618 mandrax tablets
– R1,078,075
– 2,131 Tik packets
– 2,959 Tik pipes

The Provincial Gang Investigation Unit have also made inroads in clamping down on the ongoing cycle of gang violence in the city’s northern areas.

According to information before court, since April 2016 and June this year, there were 143 murder cases, 263 attempted murder cases, and 98 cases of illegal possession of firearm and ammunition in the Bethelsdorp and Gelvandale precinct.

Police said that during this time, the unit effected 456 arrests, with the National Prosecuting Authority securing 46 convictions and eight life sentences.

Deputy National Commissioner of Management Intervention,Lieutenant General Gary Kruser, who is said to be the brainchild behind the OCC intervention, said that although gangsterism would never be eliminated police sought to minimise the impact on communities.

“We have a handle on the northern areas. The OCC deals with any priority crime and we have brought in technology that has never before been used. On a daily basis we know where the gangsters are,” he said.

Kruser further praised members for being passionate in their duties.

“We are very proud that we have accountability. These members don’t even ask for overtime because they are so passionate,” he said.

– African News Agency ( ANA)