Elsiesriver CPF against extended liquor trading hours

Elsies River Community Police Forum (CPF) says it is against a popular retail store wanting to extend its liquor operating hours.

Shoprite Liquor has filed an application where it wants to extend trading hours at Avonwood Square Mall in Elsies River, by two hours to 8p.m from Monday to Saturday and close at 6p.m on Sundays.

PHOTO - Google Maps: Johan Loubsher

According to the latest crime statistics between October and December 2023, liquor outlets contributed to 138 cases of assault caused by grievous bodily harm in the province.

Elsies River CPF Chairperson, Hamish Arries, shared his dissatisfaction to this decision, saying alcohol consumption is already a contributor to crime in the area.

‘’With this Liquor outlet open for longer hours especially after dark we anticipate an increase in liquor related crime such as public violence, domestic violence, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. The South African Police Services has a Victim Empowerment Helpdesk as part of the Social Crime Prevention program, Many of the cases reported with regards to family violence  involve alcohol abuse which is a huge contributor to social violence in our area.’’

‘’Later trading hours will increase pedestrian traffic at night, especially pedestrians under the influence who contribute enormously to the high death toll on our roads. Motorists having access to alcohol later in the evening will also exacerbate our high number of Alcohol related road accidents involving motor vehicles,’’ added Arries.

He says extending the liquor trading hours will add a greater burden to an already under resourced police team.

‘’The mall is in a crime hotspot renowned for gang activity. Police are already having their hands full keeping crime at the Avonwood Mall under control, longer trading hours will place an even greater burden on their already limited resources creating a situation where crime in the vicinity of the mall will increase.’’

‘’The Avonwood Square Mall is next to the Rapha Pentecostal Church and opposite Balvenie Primary School, both these venues have events in the evening and longer liquor trading hours will see an increase in intoxicated individuals interfering in school and church events,’’ added Arries.

He urged community members to submit their comment on the application, before the deadline on Tuesday.
‘’We cannot turn a blind eye on what’s happening. We appeal to the places of worship and the school around the mall, to follow suit, because we have spoken on their behalf, but we would like them to do the same,’’ said Hamish Arries, Elsies River CPF Chairperson.


Done by: Mitchum George


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