Call for more enforcement

2015-05-05 07:12
Sea Point residents are questioning the efficiency of local police after no fines for liquor bylaw enforcement have been issued since January. 

PHOTO FOR ILLUSTRATION: 
nicole mccain

Sea Point residents are questioning the efficiency of local police after no fines for liquor bylaw enforcement have been issued since January. PHOTO FOR ILLUSTRATION: nicole mccain

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Sea Point police have been pitted against law enforcement over the area’s liquor trade.

This comes after concerns were raised that no fines to liquor outlets have been issued by the police since January.

Sea Point station commander Colonel Maehla Mahloko Lento confirms that no fines have been issued, but says 13 operations have been carried out with over 180 establishments visited, of which 130 were restaurants and ten were pubs.

The City of Cape Town’s liquor enforcement unit has conducted four integrated operations in Sea Point with the police and the Western Cape Liquor Authority since January, says JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security.

“This excludes inspections conducted at premises where applications have been received for extended trading hours as well as premises subject to complaints from surrounding residents,” he says.

In the first quarter of this year, 24 premises were inspected for compliance, Smith says. “During this period, eight spot fines and four compliance notices were issued to club owners – including contraventions of the Business Act and the community fire safety bylaw,” he says.

Sea Point, Fresnaye and Bantry Bay Ratepayers’ Association coordinator Toni van Eyssen says the organisation believes effective enforcement of the liquor laws is essential.

“We know there are some establishments in the area which do try to flout the laws and we welcome the initiatives taken by law enforcement. Their recent efforts are to be applauded,” she says.

However, Van Eyssen finds the discrepancy in fines issued troubling.

“It does seem strange that there hasn’t been a similar impact by police when carrying out their own operations,” she says.

The organisation is calling on both enforcement agencies to work together.

“We would hope that the police would work with law enforcement to see how they can improve their work and that together they provide more effective monitoring in our area,” she says.

“Proper and consistent enforcement of the liquor laws ensures that residents can be assured that places selling liquor are correctly monitored and improper behaviour from retailers and consumers do not adversely affect them.”

Despite challenges in enforcing liquor bylaws, says Lento, the police are well-equipped to deal with any transgressions.

“Our liquor operations and complaints are carried out by senior police officers who are designated to deal with liquor issues and are experienced in the field,” he says

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