To ensure violence doesn’t ruin Valentine’s Day this year, preventative operations will be held on Friday 14 February in Claremont.Commander of Claremont police station, Col Maree Louw, says last year thousands of learners flocked to public parks to celebrate Valentine’s Day. “The large majority of these learners were from neighbouring areas and schools. They were bussed in by several taxis and buses.” She said what should have been a joyful experience turned into a tragedy. “Learners started drinking and then fights broke out between rival schools and learners,” Louw says.It ended in a huge brawl at Claremont taxi rank where at least three learners were seriously assaulted. There were even reports of stabbings.“Learners as young as 13 were among the victims of assault and robbery,” Louw says.Equally concerning were the ages of the suspects, some as young as 15.This year, Louw says, no criminal behaviour will be tolerated.Claremont police station, Cape Town traffic police, Metro police, Cape Town law enforcement and Claremont CIDC, in conjunction with the Claremont CPF, will hold operations, starting early on Friday.“Parents and learners have been forwarned,” Louw says.According to a statement released by Claremont police, taxis and buses entering the Claremont area illegally will be fined and/or impounded.Stop-and-search operations will be held at crime hot spots. Any liquor found in possession of minors (under-18) will be confiscated in terms of the Liquor Act and a release fine will be applicable. Dangerous weapons, such as knives, tools and other weapons that can be used to commit a violent crime will be confiscated and perpetrators of any age will be arrested in terms of the Dangerous Weapon Act. This will also include imitation and toy firearms. As per by-laws, no alcohol or drinking of alcohol will be allowed in public parks. Liquor stores and merchants who sell liquor to minors or intoxicated persons will be monitored and fined.Louw said the aim of the operations was not to punish anyone or to prevent learners from celebrating Valentine’s Day. “The aim is to prevent violent crime, to protect the vulnerable and to encourage learners and youngsters to celebrate responsibly,” she said.Should learners wish to celebrate Valentine’s Day at Claremont parks, the police encourage parents and adults to chaperone the children so that it remains a day of love.For more information, call Claremont police station on 021 657 2240/43.