SAPS Tongaat, in conjunction with the Department of Community Safety and Liaison’s Social Crime Prevention volunteers, held a liquor abuse awareness event at the Tongaat CBD taxi and bus ranks last week. Captain Patrick Ngwane conducted one-on-one talks and distributed educational pamphlets to the commuters. “This initiative comes after the number of criminal cases reported in Tongaat area due to liquor abuse. Alcohol abuse has proven to be a major concern and is a source of social and economic problems. Alcohol is sold to children under the age of 18 years old and some of the shebeens and taverns are disregarding closing times,” Ngwane said.Ngwane said that in a recent incident, unknown men kidnapped a woman from Hambanathi and left her in the Fairbreeze area.“The suspects invited the victim to go with them to buy alcohol and she refused. An argument ensued between the victim and the suspects. They assaulted her and forced her into a vehicle. They drove away taking her with force and she was dumped in the sugar-cane field. The victim managed to report the matter to the police. A docket of assault common and kidnapping was opened for investigation,” Ngwane said.Two suspects aged 20 and 30 were arrested and are expected to appear in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court soon. Ngwane added: “In another incident, it is alleged that a 36-year-old man was drinking with his friends at a bar in the Tongaat CBD. “While they were drinking the victim had an argument with another man. The victim was hit with a wheel spanner on his head and sustained open wounds on his head. A case of attempted murder was opened at SAPS Tongaat for investigation. A 30-year-old man was arrested in connection with this assault. The suspect will appear in court soon.”SAPS Tongaat station commander Colonel Santha Moodley appealed to members of the community to refrain from liquor and drug abuse. Moodley warned that liquor has an effect on the behaviour of the individual and leads to the individual acting or behaving in an unrecognisable manner. “Such behaviours include violent behaviour and a short temper, which lead to serious crimes such assault common, assault with intention to cause grievous bodily harm, sexual offences, domestic violence and many more. More road blocks and shebeen raid operations will be conducted,” Moodley said.