Alcohol confiscations have begun in earnest as part of the City’s festive season enforcement plan, which also netted 116 suspects in recent days for warrant-dodging, drunk driving and illegal street racing. Read more below:
The City of Cape Town’s Law Enforcement officers gave the public a whiff of things to come when they confiscated more than 1 679 bottles and cans of alcohol last night, during the switch-on of the festive season lights in the city centre. Officers also made four arrests – one for assault on a peace officer and three for being drunk in public.
The switch-on event is the first big opportunity for law enforcement agencies to test their readiness for the festive season.
In terms of the City’s by-laws, it is illegal to consume alcohol in public. Anyone found contravening the by-laws has their alcohol confiscated and receives a R500 fine. They are able to reclaim their impounded alcohol, at a cost, once the fine has been paid. During the previous festive season (1 December 2015 to 4 January 2016), the City’s enforcement agencies confiscated just shy of 12 600 litres of alcohol – up from 7 000 litres the year before.‘Very few people reclaim their alcohol, but that’s neither here nor there. Our priority is to ensure that we confiscate as much alcohol as possible and prevent the associated problems that come with alcohol consumption, like anti-social behaviour which sours events and outings for others, drunk driving, and potential fatalities,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.
On the roads, City traffic officers arrested 81 suspects and issued 655 fines for various offences. The Automated Number Plate Recognition Unit continues to be a thorn in the side of warrant-dodgers. In the last week, they arrested 48 suspects for outstanding warrants, served 402 warrants, and released 133 motorists on a warning.
‘This unit is the Grinch and they will steal the festive season joy of every scofflaw they’re able to track down. We will not change driver behaviour and thus effectively address the carnage on our roads until we can hold people to account and make them pay their fines. We’re well on our way to rewriting the narrative that there are no consequences for non-payment and more people are having a very rude awakening that the days of ignoring traffic fines are over,’ added Alderman Smith.
Operations focusing on illegal drag-racing also yielded a number of arrests:
- In the Paarden Eiland area on Wednesday 30 November 2016, officers arrested six motorists for reckless and negligent driving, one for drunk driving, and another for resisting arrest
- In the Athlone area on Friday 2 December 2016, officers made eight arrests for reckless and negligent driving, four for attempted murder and possession of unlicensed firearms, one for resisting arrest, and 15 for drunk driving
- In the Fish Hoek area on Sunday 4 December 2016, officers arrested 11 motorists for drunk driving, one for reckless and negligent driving, and two for endangering the life of a minor
The City’s Metro Police Department arrested 33 motorists for drunk driving at various vehicle check points across the city and made two more arrests for possession of drugs and robbery.
The Department also showed its softer side when members handed over a donation of toiletries to children at the Sarah Fox Convalescent Hospital in Athlone on Friday 2 December 2016. The intervention was in support of the 16 Days of Activism Campaign and sought to spread a bit of early Christmas cheer.
With schools closing for the December holidays, the Metro Police Department urges parents and caregivers to ensure that they are aware of their children’s whereabouts at all times and to keep an eye on them, particularly on the roads and at the city’s beaches.