Vhahangwele Nemakonde
Digital Journalist
3 minute read
25 Nov 2020
10:43 am

Police warn of spike in underage drinking cases

Vhahangwele Nemakonde

The Brighton Beach police have launched an underage drinking initiative to address a spike in the trend with school-going children.

Picture: iStock.

Through a WhatsApp communication session, Captain Louise le Roux initiated the station’s Youth at Risk Campaign.

The collaboration between Le Roux and the Brighton Beach liquor officer, Warrant Officer Theo van Noordwyk, is to create awareness on the health implications of underage drinking, the safety risks, and criminal implications for when a child is intoxicated.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we, the police, go about hosting educational programmes within educational institutes. Eight principals of primary and senior primary schools within the policing prescient were engaged and a knock-and-drop brochure initiative was established. This was prompted due to an influx of incidents of underage drinking by both resident and non-resident youth within our area,” said Le Roux.

Brochures distributed for the campaign explain what alcohol is, the impact its use has on health, and the long and short term effects of alcohol dependency.

The brochure also explains aspects of underage smoking and chewing of tobacco. Lists are also provided of places where banned substances can be sourced, and general pointers for parents to be on the lookout for in their children who may be experimenting with banned substances.

“A child becomes at risk when he or she consumes alcohol. It makes them vulnerable to being robbed, assaulted, sexually violated, kidnapped, trafficked, and or killed. A child becomes in conflict with the law when he or she consumes alcohol and commits a crime during their state of intoxication.”

“Their actions may include, damaging property, robbing, assaulting, sexual violation, kidnapping, and or killing another person or child. From the age of 10, a child has a criminal capacity, meaning they have the capacity to know the difference between right and wrong.”

“It must also be noted that being intoxicated when committing a crime can no longer be interpreted as grounds for justification as a defence in a court of law, even by a child that is 10 years of age or above,” said the captain.

The following are guidelines for parents to address substance dependency:

– Accept the fact that drugs exist, your child may come into contact with them.

– Learn the facts surrounding drugs and the effects.

– Be a reliable source of information for your child.

– Make sure that you can spot the signs of drug abuse and be on the lookout for them.

– Take a strong stand against drugs.

– Support your ‘no drugs’ policy with a clear and firm set of rules.

– Exclude corporal punishment.

– Encourage constructive communication.

– Encourage your child to participate in enjoyable and challenging activities that will keep his or her attention away from drugs.

– Spend more quality time with your child.

– Show your child that you care and do not allow your child to control you.

Le Roux added that a total of 971 educational brochures were distributed during this partnered policing initiative. The brochures will also be distributed during public awareness campaigns throughout the festive season.

This article was republished from Southlands Sun with permission

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