Cops descend on Byo

BULAWAYO - Police were heavily deployed in Bulawayo on New Year’s Eve, a move which cost night-time revellers.

Residents condemned the massive deployment which they described as a real party spoiler.

Police defended the action saying it was necessary to curb rising crime.

Residents needed police permission to use firecrackers, while roadblocks were visible all over town.

A large number of officers in riot gear were deployed in the city centre and some nightclubs and bars which usually open till late were forced to close well before the count down into 2013.

Roadblocks were mounted along 6th Avenue, Fort Street, Herbert Chitepo, Main Street, Beitbridge Road, Victoria Falls, Harare Road and Airport Road among others.  

No-nonsense officers stopped and searched vehicles while those found with alcohol in their vehicles were arrested.

Police had issued a statement on Sunday warning residents against misbehaving during New Year celebrations.

“People tend to drink a lot of alcohol and drive, go around singing songs and skid their cars on parking areas and roundabouts.

“Residents need clearance before they can use fireworks because they are a danger to people if not used properly,” said Bulawayo police spokesperson Mandlenkosi Moyo.

“We are warning everyone to behave themselves because we will immediately detain anyone found breaking the law as we have already deployed our staff in all streets, and doubled the number of police officers at troublesome spots,” said Moyo.

By yesterday, hundreds of people nabbed in the crackdown were still detained at several police stations around the city.

Moyo said he was still checking the exact number. - Pindai Dube

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