Scourge of beach parties

2010-12-15 00:00

UNRULY behaviour by drunk and disorderly youngsters who descended on Scottburgh’s main beach on Friday night was the subject of an angry meeting at the Town Hall on Monday evening.

Several townspeople pitched up to complain that they have had enough of such behaviour.

Inspired and chaired by Ed Baptie in his capacity as councillor for Ward 5, the gathering discussed a trend of drunkenness that has become more noticeable over several years and made proposals to combat it.

The meeting noted such beach parties are becoming more frequent and apparently more orchestrated and that they are held as far away as Mtwalume.

In the audience were a number of beachfront residents. Some of them said that hundreds of youngsters arrived in vehicles, many with their own supplies of alcohol. Most of them were soon inebriated, they said, urinating and fornicating in public, driving recklessly and leaving smashed bottles in their wake.

Not least of the problems for the local residents is that sound systems were played loudly almost throughout the night.

Almost every eyewitness complained of the absence of law enforcement, saying that when law enforcement officers were present, they were mostly there as spectators.

The Witness understands that the police made many arrests for drunk and disorderly conduct in Scottburgh on Friday and Saturday.

The audience of beachfront residents, businesspeople, civic association representatives and even a few youngsters were asked for their opinions to account for such behaviour and suggestions to counter it.

The perceived lack of law enforcement and legislation provoked strong criticism of the police and the municipality.

The proposed solutions mostly called for the involvement of all sections of the community, including parents, the media, schools and not least the youngsters themselves.

The outcome is to be discussed with the authorities and other relevant stakeholders as a matter of urgency.

As Baptie and several other speakers pointed out, if the bad behaviour is not curbed, it could lead to the decline of the tourist industry in the area and ultimately the economy and the South Coast way of life.

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