Alcohol blitz cuts down crime rate

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Komatipoort - A special month-long blitz on illegal alcohol sales and consumption has decreased the crime rate in Mpumalanga.

A police station in Tonga, an area notorious for its high rate of violent crimes, recorded no murders over the festive season.

"We managed to set a new record of having no murder cases from 1 December to 3 January. It is the first time this happened at our station," said spokesperson Sergeant Mzwandile Nyambi.

Nyambi credited Operation Siyadvudvula (we clean up), which had focused on police patrolling alcohol dealers such as taverns and shebeens, ensuring they comply with their licence conditions, and closing down those operating illegally.

"This operation will be an ongoing operation because it worked for us. We have already destroyed more than 100 different brands of illegal liquor at our station," he said.

During the blitz, more than 100 people were also arrested for either drinking in public or creating noise while doing so.

They received fines ranging between R50 and R250, while illegal shebeen owners were fined R1 500 each.

The cases that were reported at Tonga police station during the festive period included four incidents of rape, 35 of assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm and nine of common assault, Nyambi said.