Cele raises concern about high number of alcohol outlets

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Police Minister Bheki Cele has once again raised concerns about the high number of alcohol outlets, saying this is contributing to the high levels of crime across the country.

Cele is leading the final leg of the Festive Season Inspection Roadshow in KwaZulu-Natal. He was accompanied by the national Police Commissioner General Fannie Masemola and KwaZulu-Natal police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi.

During this busy year end time, police are conducting stop and search operations on major routes across the country. This involves multi-disciplinary units including the specialised Road Traffic Inspectorate and private security firms.

The Police Minister kicked off the KwaZulu-Natal leg of the Festive Season Roadshow in Richards Bay, KwaDukuza, Umlazi and Durban.

He has threatened to clamp down on illegal liquor outlets and says licenced outlets will have their licences revoked if they are found to be non-compliant.

“Whenever you move around, you find that taverns together with the bottle stores are more than the schools and churches put together. And everybody knows that alcohol over indulgence generates extra crime. So we have said as the police when you find an illegal shebeen do not negotiate shut that down. But those that are legal, look at compliance, things like underage drinking there, keeping on time, selling illegal stuff, making the noise for the broader community, those are things that are not allowed to happen.”

Cele engaged with residents at the KwaDukuza Mall. Some locals bemoaned the high crime rate in their communities.

“We are not satisfied with the level of crime in KZN our communities. There’s house robberies and it’s not safe to walk at night. We are living in fear.”

“The level of crime has decreased in Stanger. There’s a high police visibility.”

“We are calling on the minister to reduce crime. We want police to be easily accessible when we need their assistance.”

Cele says he is satisfied with operations so far.

“We have not found much on the road criminality, although there are some few things, some dangerous weapons, some knives that have been found. But yesterday again there was some success, at the road block between Eshowe and Durban, we found three illegal firearms, that could have caused some problem. So KZN up to this point we find it quite balanced, we find that people are behaving, we hope they behave that way going forward, and they will make everybody enjoy Christmas and they don’t force us to put them in until Christmas passes.”

He says the 10 000 new police recruits are also playing a role in increasing police visibility.

Police Minister Bheki Cele heads festive season inspection in KZN: