Public drinking is criminal – cop

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Police in Tzaneen have warned people to stop drinking in public to avoid breaking the law and ending up with their profiles in criminal records.

“Drinking in public will cause you to have a criminal record, which is unnecessary and unavoidable. People should drink alcoholic beverages at authorised places or in their homes,” Tzaneen cluster policing spokesperson Lt-Col Moatshe Ngoepe said.

Police said 25 people were arrested in various places including Modjadjiskloof, Ritavi, Letsitele, Maake, Bolobedu and others during a festive campaign that ended last week.

“The suspected public drinkers appeared in various courts and their fingerprints were taken. They paid fines ranging from R300 to R500. Some cases were postponed to February and March,” Ngoepe said.

Police have noted that public drinking usually generated serious crimes such as murder, assault, robberies and others.

In another development, the Tzaneen policing cluster commander, Brig Thomas Shingange, has appreciated cooperation shown by community members, leaders, business and farming communities during the festive and New Year season.

“Police established effective crime prevention machineries to deal harshly with any form of criminalities. Challenges experienced included high rate of drunken driving and public drinking but we dealt with the situation.”

People should expect similar actions beyond the festive season, Shingange said.

-Montsho Matlala

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