Police Minister Bheki Cele says he is concerned about the high number of places selling alcohol in the Northern Cape Province.

Cele was speaking in Kimberley during the festive season anti-crime operation.

The minister visited malls, taxi ranks and drinking spots across the city where he interacted with residents.

Some residents voiced out their concerns, requesting the visibility of police officers to be consistent.

He says crime levels in the Northern Cape are lower than in other provinces.

“I’ve looked at the crime stats, they’re quite low, murder itself is quite low. The only problem I have [in this province is that] there’s high number of shebeens and high number of taverns. We’re going to them to check if they comply and those who have licences, do they have under 18 and if they do, shut them down. Do they close at the proper time and not at 4 in the morning. But also to make sure that people that enjoy there, they behave,” explains the police minister.

Meanwhile, Northern Cape MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison Lebogang Motlhaping says they’re intensifying their festive season anti-crime operation.

“During the festive season, we need to make it a point that our communities do their shopping in peace. But also further than that we’ve said those who enjoy themselves and take alcohol, must do it responsibly.

“We’ll also be visiting the taverns, we’ll be visiting the shebeens, we’re saying to the shebeen owners, do not do illegal things, if your licence dictates to you that you must close at a particular time, stick to what its contained in your licence,” adds Motlhaping.

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