Cape Town - The City of Cape Town’s enforcement agencies reported a reasonably quiet night in their deployment for Guy Fawkes.
The Public Emergency Communication Centre fielded 345 calls between 06:00 and 23:00, the bulk of which were for the discharge of fireworks.
Mayco Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith said that the City had set up a Venue Operations Centre in Goodwood, comprising representatives of our Law Enforcement, Metro Police and Traffic Service, as well as the Cape of Good Hope SPCA.
"No major incidents were reported overnight – however, officers reported the stoning of vehicles on the corner of Military Road and Prince George Drive in Lavender Hill where approximately 100 youths gathered.
"Metro Police officers confiscated fireworks at three locations in Kleinvlei, Eersteriver and Ravensmead, while their Law Enforcement counterparts confiscated items in Atlantis, Big Bay and Athlone. Officers issued Section 56 notices for selling and storing fireworks without a certificate," Smith said.
The Fire and Rescue Service were also called out to vegetation alight as a result of fireworks in Jakkalsvlei Road, Bonteheuwel and Connaught Road in Cravenby Estate, but the fires were out before the arrival of the brigade.
"Staff also monitored the fireworks sites that had been designated for Diwali, in case people arrived there, but by 21:00, they had reported no activity at any of the sites.
"Throughout the day yesterday, there were numerous reports of marauding youths attacking people and vehicles. The video of the incident in Elsies River, where a man was assaulted by a group of children is evidence of what plays out, year after year in many of our communities," Smith said.
Police are hunting for children who attacked the man the Daily Voice reported.
On social media, photographs are circulating of a 14-year-old boy who was allegedly attacked with a brick.
"We are unable to quantify the costs to the individuals whose property is damaged or destroyed by the vandals who take to the streets on Guy Fawkes. A dent in a vehicle can cost thousands of rands to repair, but the psychological impact is far greater.
"Something has got to give," he said.
"There is absolutely no justification for this macabre celebration, and the hurt, pain and anguish it causes to so many people; not to mention the drain on City and police resources to deal with the many complaints received which detract from the many other pressing policing priorities in our city.
"I call on community leaders, schools and families to start a conversation about Guy Fawkes and the havoc it wreaks. The Safety and Security Directorate too will consider what possible contribution we can make towards changing the status quo," Smith said.
"It is time we start wiping out this misguided tradition which is being perpetuated by a minority, at the expense of the majority."