Limpopo police say over 6000 people have been arrested in the province since the launch of the festive season anti-crime operation in October.
The operation was intensified in the Polokwane central business district on Friday.
Police conducted roadblocks, searching for weapons and illegal substances.
Motorists driving between the busy Landross Mare, Grobbler and Thabo Mbeki streets were taken by surprise when police pounced on them.
Most pedestrians also stopped and inquired about the police’s presence as the streets are not usually targeted for roadblocks.
Police say roadblocks were earlier conducted in the Mankweng area. Acting Provincial Police Commissioner, Bafana Linda, has appealed to residents to be vigilant.
“We have arrested more than 6 000 criminals within the Limpopo province. We have recovered more than 45 vehicles and more than 35 firearms from the criminals. As government machinery, we want people to enjoy the festive season. They must feel safe. However, at the same time we are saying to our community, they must take care of the elderly people. They must take care of the children. To the criminals, we are saying zero tolerance, hashtag not in Limpopo (#NotInLimpopo).”
Some Christmas shoppers have commended the police for maintaining high visibility in and around the city.
“We feel safe when the police are patrolling, this shows that the police are working. They must reduce crime, especially theft…I’m happy to see the police doing their work with diligence because criminals are all over. They even rob you while you are walking.”
Meanwhile, 22 suspected drug dealers were arrested in various parts of the province. Police have also seized drugs such CAT, nyaope and dagga.
Police operations were also conducted in areas such as Bela-Bela, Burgersfort, and Tzaneen.
“The intelligence led operation which were up and running until the early hours of this morning composed of various police officers from different units have successfully arrested 22 suspects for possession and dealing in dagga and drugs and during the arrests a large amount of dagga and drugs were confiscated the Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant Nneke Ledwaba has commended this teams of members on the job well done. The arrested suspects have already started appearing before different Magistrate’s Courts throughout the province,” says Police Spokesperson Moatshe Ngoepe.
Police have warned members of stokvels to be careful when distributing money amongst themselves.