Pubdate: Fri, 18 Jul 2008
Source: Cape Times (South Africa)
Copyright: 2008 Cape Times
Author: Aziz Hartley

Five Arrested In Joint Raids


METRO POLICE officers were out in force in Lavender Hill and Retreat 
yesterday to give suspected drug dealers the message: "The heat is 
on, so stop now with your illegal trade or face the might of the law."

Using sledgehammers, bolt cutters and specially designed crowbars, a 
squad of Metro Police officers and their SA Police Service 
counterparts raided a number of houses in the two suburbs looking for 
drugs, targeting mainly council-owned properties suspected of being 
used as drug outlets.

One of the raids was so swift that it took a team of Metro Police 
officers only seven seconds to seal off escape routes, remove a 
burglar gate and enter a house, to the bewilderment of its occupants.

After officers informed the occupants that search warrants had been 
obtained, their fingerprints were electronically scanned with a 
hand-held device (Morphis) to check if they were on the wanted list, 
and a sniffer dog made a thorough search.

Glen Kleinsmith, a member of a council anti-drug task team, said: 
"Our focus is to deal with the scourge of drugs and alcohol in the 
community, specifically trading on council-owned property .

"On Wednesday, we raided about 18 places, including Hanover Park and 
Bellville South. Our work covers the whole metro and as far as 
Atlantis, Maccasar and Strand. In this week alone, about 30 houses 
were raided. It's an ongoing task and we'll do it every day. We want 
to keep the heat on drug dealers and hit them as hard as possible."

Yesterday's first raid, at Fawley Court in Lavender Hill, was 
followed about 25 minutes later by raids at flats in Horstley Court, 
in Retreat. Four men and a woman were frisked outside a house where a 
tik lollie (glass tube to smoke tik) was found.

A fifth man was taken into custody after a packet of tik was 
allegedly found in his shoe. His argument that it was salt fell on 
deaf ears as the raid team of about 30 sped to a house in Elsie 
Manning Street, Cafda Village.

There, after knocking down part of a brick wall, they found two 
antique guns, two packets of tik, two lollies, unused straws and a 
stolen motorbike.

A man and a woman were arrested.

The council's safety and security committee chairperson, JP Smith, 
said: "This is a joint operation and SAPS is the leading agency. We 
co-operate as much as we can. Drugs are a very serious problem.

Most crimes in the city are drug-related because people are stealing 
and mugging simply to get money to buy drugs."

Smith said the raids showed that the bulk of the men and women of the 
Metro Police were dedicated and efficient.

He repeated the council's appeal for residents to report drug dealing 
from council houses.
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