Durban - Couples having sex on Durban beaches in broad daylight have had their passionate embraces suddenly interrupted by police who have arrested them on the spot, thanks to the “eye in the sky”.
Metro police have captured on camera amorous couples – mostly teenagers and young adults unaware of the recently installed CCTV cameras and loudspeakers along the beachfront – in recent months, getting a rude awakening from either security guards or metro police alerted by CCTV control-room operators watching them.
“They get so shocked when they see the security personnel. They aren’t aware that Big Brother is watching them 24/7,” said Metro police spokesman Senior Superintendent Eugene Msomi this week.
Msomi was speaking from the Metro Police Boscombe Place control room where The Independent on Saturday (IOS), the Saturday Star’s sister paper, saw the shocking images captured at various beaches.
None of the couples were wearing condoms in all the videos seen by the IOS team.
It was reported in a daily paper that 17 couples were arrested during the festive season and charged with public indecency, a figure Msomi would not confirm.
However, an operator at the control room said at least two sexual acts were captured by the cameras daily.
“We’ve seen it all,” said the operator. “All the different styles. It is very worrying because most of these couples are young kids, some still in school uniform.”
In a range of scenes, couples are seen walking towards the sand dunes hand in hand, before stripping down and having sex, mostly in broad daylight.
In one clip at Oasis beach, a young woman is seen covering her face as if she is aware of the cameras. “She’s just trying to hide her face from the sun’s glare,” quips the operator.
The woman soon stands up, indicating to her partner that she is uncomfortable.
He then proceeds to put down a purple towel on the sand and she lies back down.
Several minutes into the act, five public order police swoop on the couple. The guy tries to put up a fight, while the woman stands by dejectedly.
They are subsequently led into the back of a police van.
In another shot, a teenage girl wearing a purple skirt, white vest and denim jacket runs off with her panties in hand, without alerting her partner, when she notices two Metro police officers approaching.
A police van chases her all the way to Suncoast, where she puts on her panties in full view of shocked beachgoers. She too is arrested with her boyfriend.
One couple, half dressed, continue having sex in spite of shocked people walking by. They too only stop when police apprehend them.
An elderly couple, frolicking around naked near the Country Club beach, also receive an earful from guards who ask them to get dressed or else.
All these incidents happened in the last two months, the most recent one being last week.
Warning people not to engage in public indecency, Msomi said the couples were not only slapped with a fine, but also risked public embarrassment when they were arrested and appeared in court.
“When the people involved are under age their parents also have to appear in court,” he said.