With Christmas just a week away, the fatal stabbing of a teenager during or following the annual Opening of the Season festivities at the Port Elizabeth beachfront does not bode well.
Though this time of year is meant to be one of peace and joy, it is sadly never the case.
Instead the festive season is when we invariably see increased road accidents and deaths, more incidents of domestic and other violence, and more murder and mayhem all round.
Alcohol, predictably, is frequently at the root of these incidents. People feel they are entitled to celebrate and not everyone knows their limits or cares about the impact their overindulgence might have on others.
That is why safety and security measures have to be ramped up around Christmas and New Year, as we have been assured is the case.
But the public also have to play their part. The law-abiding among us must remain vigilant and do our civic duty by reporting any incidents we encounter where someone might potentially come to harm.
It is absolutely unacceptable, for instance, that a 10-year-old boy was among those found passed out following the weekend celebrations.
This child should not have been left unattended, let alone had access to alcohol. His mother was nowhere to be found until about 2pm yesterday.
You can be sure that, come Christmas and New Year’s Day, police will once again have their hands full trying to unite lost children with their parents.
This festive season there is not much you can do about the inevitable criminal elements that are also bound to surface, except to keep your wits about you and stay as safe as you can.
But what you can do is think before you reach for that third or fourth drink.
And, if you are going to be carousing, do also think twice before getting behind the wheel. There are ways to get home safely without putting lives at risk.