Just like the previous New Year’s celebration, the South African Police Service (SAPS) has vowed that it will do all it can to guarantee minimum incidents of crime and violence.
SAPS said they will take strong action against any acts of violence associated with New Year’s celebration and will be leaving nothing to chance as they are geared up towards an incident-free cross over to 2018.
Stressing that all law enforcement agencies will be working together to maintain a zero-tolerance approach towards any criminality, the police service warned criminals that the visibility of its members has recorded a major boost in number owing to the recent dispatch of the Constables that recently graduated.
While the Constables are expected to complement the law enforcement agencies, police reservists and community patroller who were dispatched across the country since the beginning of the Safer Festive Season Operations which commenced on 1st September 2017, SAPS wants South Africans to observe the following while welcoming the New Year.
1. Don’t Accept Drinks from Strangers
SAPS says it’s foolish to do otherwise as drinks from strangers might have been spiked or laced with intoxicating substances for the purpose of committing a crime. Do not be carried away by the joyful atmosphere, drinks offered by strangers should be suspected.
Also, SAPS cautioned that you must consume liquor responsibly if you don’t want to spend the first few days of the New Year behind bars. According to the police service, most crimes that occur during festive seasons were triggered by the abuse of alcohol. Cases of road rage, domestic violence, child neglect and malicious damage to property have all been linked to irresponsible consumption of liquor, stated SAPS.
Meanwhile, you are also asked to refrain from abusing the 10111 line while intoxicated. “…This behaviour compromises the effective dispatching of emergency vehicles, denying help to people in distress,” added the police service.
2. Women Shouldn’t Walk Alone
SAPS wants the fathers, brothers, uncles and husbands to enhance the safety of women by not allowing them to walk alone. The police service said women walking alone especially late at night or in the early hours of the morning are most likely to become victims of rape, sexual assaults and even murder.
If women must walk at these odd hours, they must walk with trusted men.
3. Kids Mustn’t be Left Alone
They ought to be protected from being kidnapped, raped, sexually assaulted or murdered. Also, they must not be left unattended during celebrations, especially along rivers and dams. This should be done in order to avoid incidents of drowning.
4. Secure Your Home and Vehicles
For those who will be having the New Year’s celebration at their homes, the police service wants them to take precautions that would minimize the opportunities for crime.
You are urged to secure your home and vehicles. Make sure that the gates are closed and, that doors and vehicles are securely locked.
5. Know the Municipal By-laws
SAPS said the laws will be strictly enforced and, anyone contravening its provisions like participating in illegal street closures, irresponsible use of firecrackers, unruly bashes and illegal car racing is definitely asking for trouble.
For criminals intending to trouble South Africans at various events where multitude are expected to gather, SAPS has warned that it will be beefing-up operations in areas like Johannesburg Central, Sunnyside, Wild Waters in Boksburg, Moretele Park in Mamelodi, Hillbrow and Pretoria Central.
Also, more undercover police officers will be deployed to identify people involved in illegal activities like the illegal trading of liquor and dealing in drugs.
Meanwhile, President Jacob Zuma has issued a New Year message wishing South Africans a happy, fruitful and prosperous New Year. In the message, Zuma proclaimed that the year 2018 marks the centenary of late President Nelson Mandela.
“We should use the year to celebrate his contribution and promote unity and togetherness in our country. Let us work together to build a truly united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa.
“Where we disagree, let us do so with dignity and respect and promote unity and cohesion as we build our country together. As we enjoy our festive holidays, let us do so responsibly, and promote the safety and security of all in our country together,” implored the President.