The proliferation of illegal firearms and ammunition in the Northern areas of Port Elizabeth is a priority for police. In our efforts to clamp down on the serious and violent crimes committed with illegal firearms, police are conducting searches at homes, in the streets and hideouts of known gang members.
Since Friday 17 May 2019, until today 20 May 2019, a total of 8 firearms and various assorted rounds of ammunition were confiscated and 12 suspects were subsequently arrested in separate incidents. A total of 5 firearms and 7 people were arrested on 20 May 2019.
On Monday, 20 May 2019 at about 04:40, SAPS Gelvandale Crime Prevention and the Tactical Response Team (Gauteng) members executed several search warrants at houses in the Helenvale area. While performing this task, the members received information about illegal firearms kept at a house in Blesbok Street in Helenvale. The house was searched and 3 firearms were found hidden under the floor in the lounge.
The firearms were reported stolen in Kwazakhele, Humewood and East London in November 2018, February 2019 and January 1998 respectively. Five suspects (2 males and 3 females) aged between 22 and 45 years old were arrested and detained on charges of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. The firearms will be sent to forensics for further investigation and analysis.
At about 11:00 TRT members (Gauteng) were on foot patrol in Barberry Drive in Bethelsdorp when they immediately responded to rival gangs shooting at each other in an open space near a school. One suspect was arrested with a 9mm pistol in his possession.
Public Order Policing from Port Elizabeth also arrested a 27 year old male in Blueberry Drive, not far from Barberry Drive. Members were also responding to the shooting and were on foot when they received information from a community member about a suspect that was seen running into a yard. Members reacted to the information and noticed the suspect disposing of a firearm in the yard after which he fled on foot. He was apprehended and a.38 revolver was recovered. He is detained on a charge of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.
The arrested persons are expected to appear in court soon.
Mount Road Cluster Commander, Major General Thembisile Patekile has called on the communities in these areas to work with police in arresting those involved in the recent shooting incidents that took place over the weekend in the Bethelsdorp precinct.
‘We have intensified our policing in Bethelsdorp and we will be engaging in hard core policing until we are satisfied that the area has stabilised and the communities are safe. We will not allow these criminals to be a law unto themselves and undermine the authority of the State. Communities also need to take a stance and work with us to ensure their safety. We need to confiscate these illegal firearms that are used in the commission of serious crimes,’ added Maj Gen Patekile.
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