alcohol level 3 lockdown problems

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Expert confirms ‘no link’ between alcohol ban and lower crime figures

Government attempts to conflate alcohol prohibition with a decrease in crime hasn’t gone down well with researchers at the University of the Western Cape.

alcohol level 3 lockdown problems

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We’d pay a shiny penny for Bheki Cele’s thoughts right now. The police minister’s claims that the country-wide alcohol ban is responsible for a drop in crime has been forensically dismantled by Jean Redpath, a researcher at UWC’s African Criminal Justice Reform.

Alcohol ban and low crime figures – they just don’t correlate

Speaking during a webinar hosted by the Institute of Security Studies – and titled Alcohol and South Africa’s Drop in Crime – Redpath didn’t give any credence to government claims that prohibition was to thank for a rapid decline in criminal activity. The analyst explained that factors such as curfew, the fear of catching disease and the increased presence of law enforcement officials have all played their part.

“The impact of lockdown needs to be separated from an alcohol ban. For example, public transport during the beginning of the lockdown was not widely available for people who live far away from the police stations.”

“People might fear contracting the virus if they go to a police station and by reporting a crime, you may have to admit to you broke lockdown rules. Reports of police and army brutality during the lockdown might also be a deterrent. The same could be said for the curfew, that is preventing people from interacting at night.”

Jean Redpath

Would the real Bheki Cele please stand up?

Cele, who has even punted the possibility of extending the alcohol ban after lockdown ends, has been left without a leg to stand on over this particular matter. His conflation of crime figures to a lack of liquor lacked scientific merit, as highlighted by Redpath and her colleagues.

The police minister, meanwhile, has been fighting other battles this week. SAPS has launched a probe into an army of imposters pretending to be Bheki Cele online. Around 160 accounts in his name exist, and those behind the fake profiles could soon face a fraud investigation. George Michalakis, an MP for the DA, ruffled feathers over the weekend when he said that the illegal accounts were ‘believable for a reason’.

“The only reason why fake accounts of a fake Bheki Cele making ludicrous statements would be believable is because the Minister himself has been no stranger to making ludicrous statements in the past, not least during the lockdown and with regards to the alcohol ban.”

George Michalakis