Authorities clamp down at harbour

Officers from law enforcement agencies filled dozens of bags with confiscated abalone shells.

A joint operation between various law enforcement agencies at Hout Bay Harbour on Friday November 11 saw nine people arrested and more than 100 fines issued.

The operation included police and officers from law enforcement, traffic, metro police, SANParks, Department of Environmental Affairs, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Customs and Home Affairs (immigration).

The blistering heat did nothing to deter agency representatives from conducting thorough searches of trading stalls and vehicles entering and exiting the harbour.

The search of the quayside stalls yielded 452 abalone shells and six shark jaws, while fines were issued to 48 unlicensed drivers. Six traders were also found to be operating without a business licence, according to a statement from Law Enforcement.

It was a bad start to the weekend for one local resident who was arrested after he was caught feeding the harbour’s famous seals.

A foreign national was taken into custody for dealing in foreign currency, while another was detained for not having legal documents.

Ward 74 councillor Roberto Quintas welcomed the operation as the habour was an important asset for Hout Bay.

“Since taking office I have met and communicate regularly with law and marine law enforcement and metro police. I have communicated various issues facing the community and ward to them and expressed the need for more visible presence and more frequent action. “Those City agencies have been extremely responsive and have worked alongside other law agencies in order to carry out various operations recently,” he said.

“These have included numerous road blocks resulting in vehicle confiscations and fines. There have also been operations in the harbour, one night operation aimed at poaching and this recent large scale operation. I’m extremely pleased to see this activity taking place and am as committed as ever to working along with the authorities to seeing a safer Hout Bay in which to live, work and play.

“The harbour is a huge tourist attraction. Having been aware of the public dialogue, I am very aware how important it is that we tidy it up. We hope the operation is the start of this process,” he said.

Mr Quintas said with the festive season looming, similar operations could be expected.

Meanwhile, Hout Bay police made several arrests for various crimes in the past fortnight.

On Monday November 7, two people were taken into custody after a robbery in Hangberg.

“The complainant witnessed two suspects robbing a male in Hangberg and shouted at the suspects. The suspects then approached her and threatened her with a knife. The complainant’s husband came out to assist her and one of the suspects took out a firearm and pointed it at them,” said police spokeswoman Warrant Officer Tanya Lesch.

“The victim’s husband struck one of the suspects with a spade, and the firearm fell to the ground. The suspects then fled the scene. Police were called out, and following up on the information, arrested the two suspects.”

Hout Bay CID members also conducted two tracing operations. On Tuesday November 8, two people were arrested for common assault; four for outstanding arrest warrants and two people for intimidation and possession of dangerous weapon.

During another tracing operation on Thursday November 10, one arrest was made for outstanding maintenance payments, one for common assault, one for assault (GBH) and one for intimidation.