Police Minister Bheki Cele has long been under pressure to improve the situation

Minister of Police General Bheki Cele noted that the South African Police Service (SAPS) is unapologetic in fighting against crime in the country and lauded the success of Operation Shanela that was launched in May last year in an effort to deal with crime in high-density areas.

Speaking to the media on Monday morning, Cele explained that the Community Policing Forums, community patrollers and private security have been working actively to support the overall success of Operation Shanela, which was launched last year to combat crime.

In the last one year, the operation has successfully arrested 600,000 criminals with the help of 71,000 operations across South Africa.

The officials confiscated a number of illegal firearms, drugs, and stolen vehicles and visited unlicensed establishments alongside other items. Under these operations, thousands of motorists have been nabbed for driving under the influence, theft out of motor vehicles, human trafficking and other crimes.

"Operation Shanela has and continues to be rolled out across the country, led by the Provincial Commissioners of each province," he said, SA News reported. "Each week we come together on a Monday morning to scan the country, discuss in depth the weekly crime picture and operational interventions on policeable crimes."

While the minister of police credited Operation Shanela for being at the forefront, he pointed out that these arrests are the result of collaborative efforts by the South African National Defence Force, the National and Provincial Traffic Police and the Metro Police Departments, Municipal Traffic, the Department of Home Affairs, the South African Revenue Services (SARS) and other government departments.

"The role of active citizen participation in the prevention and combating crime continues to gain momentum," he said.

He also stressed that the police will continue to fight against crime in the country.

The media briefing was also attended by crime analysts who regularly provide insight to not only South Africans but also global audiences on the effectiveness of the police in fulfilling their constitutional duties of preventing, investigating and combating crime.

Provincial Police Commissioners, who also attended the media briefing, said that the crime has reduced across the country due to Operation Shanela.

President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier this year said that the South African government has strengthened the security measures to fight against crime by recruiting 20,000 police officers over the last two years in the SAPS.