Durbs cracking down for Xmas

2006-12-05 21:30
Durban - Policing authorities here announced on Tuesday they would be going all out to prevent a repeat of last year's festive season when three women were raped in the paddling pools in broad daylight.

The South African Police Services (SAPS) and the eThekwini metro police responsible for the city's Golden Mile beachfront during the festive season, said that extra officers would be deployed.

There also would be "zero tolerance" towards people who drank too much.

Director Aaron Harry declined to disclose how many extra officers would be brought in for the festive period.

"We don't have numbers for you, but it will vary from day to day, depending on our specific needs at a specific time.

"We have to keep the element of surprise (on criminals)," he said.

SAPS deployments would peak on December 16, December 25 and at New Year.

Metro police said extra officers would be deployed in the city centre and along the famed Golden Mile.

Beachfront access restricted

The rest of the city would not be understaffed as a result of the extra deployments along the beaches.

Vehicle access to the beachfront would be severely cut as roads would be closed off to all motorists except residents and emergency services.

Christo Swart, the deputy head of the city's Festive Season Management Committee, said night bathing had been banned and those caught swimming after dark would be fined.

Last year there were a number of incidents reported where inebriated people went swimming at night with tragic consequences.

Tents with "Separated Children" signs would be erected at numerous beaches for lost children to be claimed by their parents.

More than 40 portable toilets would also be provided along the Golden Mile.

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