While residents are gearing up for the festive season, the City of Cape law enforcement staff is also getting ready to tackle their biggest challenge during this time. Alcohol consumption in public spaces and recreational areas remains a key challenge over the December/January holiday period.
Law enforcement services confiscate thousands of litres of alcohol each summer, specifically over the peak festive season.
During the last few weeks, the Law Enforcement Liquor Unit has discarded more than 8,000 litres of alcohol, with more to follow. Officials are looking to be a step ahead as they prepare for another influx of confiscated alcohol.
These confiscations are done in terms of the City’s by-laws. This prohibits the introduction, and consumption, of alcohol in public spaces.
Anyone who is found contravening the by-laws will have their alcohol confiscated and will receive a R500 fine. They are able to reclaim their impounded goods, at a cost, once the fine has been paid.
During last year’s peak summer festive season, between 1 December 2022 and 31 January 2023, the City’s enforcement services confiscated over 23,000 units of alcohol, amounting to nearly 10,500 litres.
Recently, over the weekend of 20 – 22 October, officers confiscated 1 176 units of alcohol amounting to over 600 litres.
“Historically, alcohol abuse has proven to be one of the biggest enforcement challenges, not only on our roads but also in public spaces. In far too many instances, it sours the enjoyment of those around you, but also puts lives at risk when people get behind the wheel drunk.” – Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith
All seized alcohol undergoes tagging and storage according to the City’s Impoundments policy.
To retrieve these confiscated belongings, individuals must settle the fine and impoundment release fee. Unclaimed items may be disposed of in accordance with the policy after three months.
Prior to destruction, the tags placed on the confiscated goods during booking are detached and cross-referenced with an inventory list.
“In terms of where the alcohol goes, we have rigorous systems in place that account for every bottle or can, and we’ve even had people testing these systems, only to find that the alcohol is exactly where it should be – at the pound.”