Though nearly 30 000 people visited designated fireworks sites to partake in Guy Fawkes ‘celebrations’ this weekend, the City’s Safety and Security Directorate experienced no major incidents. Read more below:
The City of Cape Town’s Safety and Security Directorate is satisfied with the execution of safety plans at the various designated fireworks sites on Guy Fawkes Day.
Just under 30 000 people visited the sites and the City’s Fire and Rescue Service recorded 32 injuries. Table View and Maiden’s Cove were the busiest sites, with 15 000 and 10 000 estimated revellers respectively. As a result, the two sites also accounted for the highest number of injuries.
The most severe injury was in Table View, where a 14-year-old boy lost part of three fingers on his left hand while handling an exploding fireworks device. He was treated by medical staff on scene before being transported to hospital.
The City’s Law Enforcement Department received 528 complaints about the illegal sale of fireworks on Saturday 5 November 2016. Overall, officers confiscated 1 250 boxes of fireworks and 10 distress flares and issued 23 fines totalling R34 500 for the illegal sale of fireworks.‘I am satisfied that the City did everything possible to ensure the evening was well managed. The injuries are very unfortunate, especially with the number being higher than the previous year. Fireworks are dangerous and need to be handled with care. Guy Fawkes continues to be a massive headache that we can frankly do without. The City has done all it can in terms of our legislated authority. Given the ongoing complaints from the public, we hope that National Government will look at banning the sale of fireworks as trying to stop the ensuing chaos once those fireworks are in circulation is almost impossible,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.
In terms of general enforcement, on Sunday 6 November 2016, Law Enforcement officers on patrol in Mandalay were stopped by a 16-year-old teenager who informed them that he had been robbed at gunpoint by two men in a white Toyota Avanza. Officers later spotted the vehicle and pulled it over. The occupants were found in possession of a replica firearm and arrested after being positively identified by the victim. It is suspected that the two suspects could be linked to similar incidents.
Elsewhere, the City’s Traffic Service arrested 182 suspects and issued 833 fines for various offences, including:
· 66 arrests by the Automatic Number Plate Recognition Unit for outstanding warrants. This Unit also served 563 warrants
· 36 drunk driving arrests by the Integrated Roadblock Unit
· 80 arrests for drunk driving, reckless and negligent driving, possession of drugs, and resisting arrest during various operations across the city
· the impoundment of 26 sedan taxis during operations in the Cape Town CBD and Sea Point
On Saturday 5 November 2016 two officers were on patrol in the Wetton area when they spotted a blue Toyota Yaris driving in the face of oncoming traffic on Old Strandfontein Road. When the officers approached the driver, he reversed and sped away. The officers caught up with the suspects in the Lansdowne area, but retreated when the suspects opened fire on them. It was established that the Yaris had been stolen in Kensington. While the suspects managed to get away from the officers, back-up officers picked up the trail when they discovered that the suspects had abandoned the Yaris after hijacking a light delivery vehicle (LDV). The LDV was later recovered in Hanover Park and officers established that the suspects had hijacked yet another vehicle to get away.
‘This incident was nothing short of brazen. While officers didn’t manage to catch the perpetrators, I commend them for keeping cool heads and going the distance even after coming under fire. Hopefully there were some clues left behind in one of the vehicles that could help investigators find the criminals,’ added Alderman Smith.
The City’s Metro Police Department arrested 13 suspects for various offences during operations in recent days. This included a joint operation with other enforcement agencies that focused on various night clubs in the Cape Town CBD on Thursday 3 November 2016. The operation resulted in nine arrests for, among others, possession of drugs and dangerous weapons, being drunk in public, and hindering a police officer in the execution of their duties.