KwaZulu-Natal police have seized 187 illegal firearms and a total of 1801 rounds of ammunition during various operations conducted during the month of September 2019. A total of 228 suspects were arrested for being in illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

Police spokesperson, Brigadier Jay Naicker said that the arrests effected are as a result of multi-disciplinary operations conducted as from 1 to 30 September in various parts of the province.

168 pistols, seven shotguns, six rifles and six homemade firearms were seized by police in these operations. All firearms that are seized by police are subjected to ballistic tests to establish if they were used in any other crimes within the province.

“These operations that were conducted in various clusters within the province were concentrated in areas where inter-group conflict, stock theft, taxi violence and other serious crimes are prevalent. Police have placed a greater emphasis on the recovery of illegal firearms during stabilisation operations as they contribute to lawlessness in communities and every effort is being made to ensure that criminals are disarmed as well as to limit the volume of violent crimes that are prevalent in society,” Naicker said.

The provincial commissioner, Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula, applauded police officers in the province for removing these weapons from the hands of criminals. “I have noted that there is a concerted effort being made by police officers to step up operations aimed at ridding our communities of illegal firearms. We plead with citizens in this province who are concerned about crime to continue reporting information with regards to illegal firearms to their local police stations or Crime Stop on 08600 10111,” he said.