There will be a clampdown on crime ahead of and during the Confederations Cup, which kicks off on June 14, police said on Thursday.

Deputy Police Commissioner Andre Pruis said South Africa had staged over 140 international events with only one major incident since 1994 and was confident the Confederations Cup would be free of any major crime.

He was speaking at a media briefing at SAFA House, south of Johannesburg, a month before the kick-off of the event regarded as the dress rehearsal for the 2010 World Cup.

Pruis said the SAPS would employ 5200 officers for the event and 2 500 public service policemen.

The Cup’s Local Organisation Committee (LOC) would add a further 2 800 private security officials to assist the SAPS plus 3 445 stewards at matches.

Said Pruis: “We have not had any problems with the current staging of the Indian Premier League, the recent general elections and inauguration of President Jacob Zuma went off without a hitch. And we will comfortably host the British Lions rugby tour at the same time as the Confederations Cup.”

But just to ensure that no international criminals are here for the two week tournament, the SAPS have called in Interpol to assist where needed. Interpol will be here as a deterrent to international criminals.

Pruis said the SAPS is not taking chances with any of the international events for which it is in charge of security.

“Crime is down and we are determined to clean up well before the Confederations Cup kicks off on June 14,” said Pruis.

The Special Task Force will also be called in to target areas such as hijacking and house and business theft.

Said Pruis: “With an international soccer event such as the Confederations Cup we know 99 percent of the time where teams, supporters and officials are and we can look out for them. That is the easy part. But we are taking no chances.”

Pruis said foreign police force members such as those from Brazil, which is hosting the 2014 World Cup, will be in the country to observe.

LOC’s chief transport officer Skhumbuzo Macozoma assured the briefing there would be no taxi strike.

“The BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) system would not be implemented during the competition nor would the taxi drivers go on strike,” he said.

“We have been given that assurance by the taxi drivers who are committed to President Zuma.”

DATED: 14th May 2009