Gauteng cops encourage public to cross over to the new year with maximum responsibility



The South African Police Service (SAPS) will take strong action against any acts of violence associated with new year’s celebrations, the Gauteng SAPS warned on Saturday.

“Much as the last new year’s eve and new year’s day festivities in Gauteng went with minimum incidents of crime and/or violence, Gauteng police are this time around also leaving nothing to chance and are geared up towards an incident-free cross over to 2018.

Police will take strong action against any acts of violence associated with new year’s celebrations,” Gauteng police commissioner Lt-Gen Deliwe de Lange said.

With the festive season at its climax between December 16 and January 2, she was confident that all law enforcement agencies, including metro police departments, Gauteng provincial traffic, and other government departments responsible for law enforcement would maintain a zero tolerance approach to any criminality.

Police visibility had seen a major boost in numbers with the recent arrival of newly graduated police constables who would complement the law enforcement agencies, police reservists, and community patrollers who had all been on the ground since the commencement of the safer festive season operations on September 1.

“This force multiplier will also beef-up operations through deployments at various events where throngs of people are expected to converge at areas like Hillbrow, Johannesburg Central, Sunnyside, Pretoria Central, Wild Waters in Boksburg, and Moretele Park in Mamelodi. More undercover police officers will also be deployed to identify people involved with illegal activities which include illegal trading of liquor and dealing in drugs.

“People who will be welcoming the new year at their homes are urged to take precaution to minimise opportunities for crime by making sure that their gates are closed, doors, and vehicles are securely locked,” De Lange said.

People visiting places of entertainment should also take certain precautions, such as:
– not accepting drinks from strangers, as they might have been spiked or laced with intoxicating substances for the purpose of committing a crime;
– women should avoid walking alone, especially late at night or in the early hours of the morning, as they might fall victim to rape, sexual assault, and murder; and
– children should not be left unattended during celebrations, especially along rivers and dams, to avoid incidents of drowning, kidnapping, rape, sexual assault, and murder.

Most crime that occurred during this phase of the festive season was generated by irresponsible consumption of liquor. Cases of road rage, domestic violence, child neglect, and malicious damage to property due to abuse of alcohol could see people spending the first days of the new year behind bars unnecessarily, she said.

Municipal by-laws would also be strictly enforced on contraventions, including illegal street closures, irresponsible use of fireworks, “unruly bashes”,  and illegal car racing.

People were also advised to refrain from abusing the 10111 emergency police line “while intoxicated”, as this behaviour compromised the effective dispatching of emergency vehicles, denying help to people in distress, De Lange said.

“Thus far, the co-operation between the communities and the police has been commendable and I would therefore like to thank Gauteng residents and visitors for heeding the call by police to work together towards ensuring a relatively safe and secure festive season, with minimum incidents of crime. I wish everyone a safe, healthy, and prosperous new year,” De Lange said.
– African News Agency (ANA)

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