Police in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro have said tough time awaits criminals and those who intend to violate the COVID-19 guidelines during the Easter celebration.
According to the Police, law enforcement officers will be out in their numbers ensuring that citizens behave themselves during the Easter period.
Acting Nelson Mandela Bay District Commissioner, Brig Thandiswa Kupiso, who issued the warning said operations across the area have kick-started and will intensify during the Easter week and beyond.
“ Once again, this period is very different as compared to previous years as the Nation is still having to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents are urged to be mindful of the virus and that a third wave might be on our doorsteps if we fail to adhere to all the regulations as set out in the Disaster Management Act.
“ Strict compliance will be closely monitored by Police across the Metro. Parents and guardians are warned that they will be charged in terms of the Children’s Act, 2005 (Act no 38 of 2005) if they neglect or abandon their children as it has been a tendency over the festive season especially at beaches. This is also a time when drownings increase where children are left to play in dams, pools and the sea unattended.
“ Adults are urged to behave responsibly and drinking in public places are strictly prohibited. Anyone caught drinking in a public place will be arrested, charged and their alcohol confiscated.
” Drivers are urged to be extra vigilant on the roads as traffic is expected to increase as this is a time where we experience a lot of vehicle accidents. Do not drink and drive as your irresponsibility can be detrimental to many innocent lives including the drunken driver, ” Kupiso said.
He added that the multi-disciplinary operations which will be on a 24 hour basis will focus on high visibility of Police and other law enforcement in hotspot areas.
“ These will include heightened visibility at beaches, the promenade, tourist destinations, shopping centres as well as conducting operations and patrols on the National roads. A zero tolerance approach will be followed against the abuse of alcohol, with a focus on public drinking, substance abuse and crimes related to it.
“ We will not hesitate to stamp the authority of the state in all corners of this Metro. We will also be tightening our responses to Gender Based Violence (GBV) and crimes committed against women and children. All of us must fight the second pandemic of GBV and as officers of the law, no sympathy will be given to perpetrators of such crime.
“ Our citizens are also reminded that the COVID-19 plague is still very much among us and people must continue to ensure the wearing of personal protection equipment and constantly maintain social distancing. It is incumbent on every citizen to act within the ambit of the law and to report all forms of criminality. Your pro-activeness and adherence will result in peaceful policing and a joyous Easter PERIOD, ” added Brig Kupiso.