Sharp rise in festive season alcohol seizures

Confiscated alcohol.

City police confiscated almost 7000 litres of alcohol during the festive season, almost 2000 litres more than the same time last year.

Alcohol seizures made from Thursday December 1 last year to Monday January 2 this year increased by 1900 litres from less than 5000 litres seized from December 1 2021 to January 4 last year, according to a City statement.

City law enforcement agencies made 1291 arrests, seized 33 guns and issued thousands of fines for various transgressions during this festive season.

The Fire and Rescue Service responded to 3 442 emergency incidents. Among these were approximately 1 800 vegetation fires, 269 informal structure fires, 439 motor vehicle accidents, 167 pedestrians knocked down and 145 trauma incidents. During the period, 27 people died as a result of fires.

The Public Emergency Communication Centre recorded 22 410 incidents of which 39% were calls for medical assistance and 19% related to by-law transgressions.

It also recorded 1 501 calls relating to assault cases, 617 motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents, 520 cases of domestic violence, 219 complaints about drinking in public, 201 calls related to self-harm and 111 complaints related to the illegal sale and discharge of fireworks.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said: “Our alcohol confiscations soared, and while there is a drop (starting from 2018) in the overall litres confiscated, that is only because people are employing different tactics to get alcohol into our public spaces.

“Bottles of spirits have now become sachets; large beers have been replaced by smaller bottles, and tales also abound of people disguising alcohol as babies wrapped in blankets, or using their children’s milk and juice bottles to smuggle alcohol onto the beaches.”