The Cape Navigator

Seaside Community Newspaper

Cape Town

Cape Town Witnesses a Subdued Payday Weekend: Emergency Call Statistics Reflect a Decrease in Incidents

Michael Hawthorne

The City of Cape Town’s recent emergency call statistics have revealed a surprising deviation from the typical chaos associated with payday weekends. The Public Emergency Communication Centre recorded a noticeable drop in the overall number of incidents reported between Friday, January 26, and Sunday, January 28.

In a media statement released by the City of Cape Town, it was disclosed that a total of 1,979 incidents were logged during this period. While the figure remains substantial, the City noted a decline in the dramatic spikes often linked to month-end, such as interpersonal violence cases and drunk driving arrests.

Among the incidents reported, 706 were medical, and 164 were fire-related. Disturbingly, there were 146 recorded cases of assault, 50 instances of domestic violence, 228 noise complaints, and 63 motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents.

One notable incident occurred late Sunday night in Delft, where Law Enforcement and Policing (LEAP) officers arrested a suspect who was not only under the influence but also threatening his ex-girlfriend at gunpoint. The officers successfully de-escalated the situation, confiscating a firearm and 13 rounds of ammunition in the process. Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith, emphasized the significance of this intervention, stating, “Officers were able to de-escalate the situation and likely saved a life.”

Despite the relatively subdued statistics, enforcement efforts remained robust throughout the city. Law Enforcement officers made 220 arrests and issued 1,727 notices for various offences. Metro Police counterparts contributed to this effort with 56 arrests and 3,977 fines issued for traffic and by-law transgressions.

On the roads, Traffic officers arrested 48 suspects, with 38 held for driving under the influence of alcohol, four for reckless and negligent driving, and six on various charges, including possession of a stolen vehicle, false documentation, and assault of an officer. A total of 71,290 offences were recorded, 184 public transport vehicles were impounded, and 2,543 warrants of arrest were executed.

Mayoral Committee Member JP Smith commented on the unexpected downturn in incidents, stating, “While January appears to be the anomaly in the payday phenomenon, any cautious optimism will likely be short-lived. The trend likely has less to do with new-year-new-me resolutions, but likely more because many people are still recovering from the new year financial hangover.”

As Cape Town reflects on this unusual payday weekend, authorities remain vigilant, recognizing the potential for shifts in behaviour and the need for continued efforts to ensure public safety.


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