Although crime in Sea Point has decreased, Sea Point Community Police Forum (CPF) chairperson, Heather Tager, believes the statistics that were released last week were largely irrelevant.
Ms Tager said that statistics only show up until the end of March and what has happened since then is more important.
The national crime statistics for the period April 2016 to March 2017 were released by Minister of Police, Fikile Mbalula, last Tuesday, October 24 (“City Bowl crime is up”, Atlantic Sun, October 26).
“In many instances, certain cases such as theft out of motor vehicles, are often not reported unless a case number is needed for insurance purposes. Common assault and assault with the intent to inflict harm, business robberies, rape and sexual assault showed an increase,” said Ms Tager.
“On a plus note there has been an increase with regard to illegal possession of ammunition and firearms, drug-related crimes and driving while under the influence due to police action,” said Ms Tager.
She attributed this to good police work.
She added that most police stations were suffering from a shortage of resources and manpower. “This means that the station has to think out of the box and come up with good policing strategies.”
She said the CPF had a good working relationship with the police, neighbourhood watches, resident’s associations as well as private security companies. Ms Tager also thanked community members for working together to fight crime.
Captain Elizabeth Munro, spokesperson for Sea Point police station, said the majority of crimes in the area had shown a decrease.
She said they were also pleased with the decrease of property crimes in the area. However, she said that crime categories that showed an increase in the area were assault, sexual offences and rape.
“Through collaborative efforts with other law enforcement, community-based organisations like the CPF, and the neighbourhood watches, we are pleased with the decreased of our priority crimes.”
Priority crimes included house-breaking and house robbery.
“We also appreciate the availability of Licence Plate Recognition (LPR) cameras and all CCTV cameras that enhance investigations. We are also pleased with the involvement of our communities in an endeavour to create a safe environment. We are looking to a much better combined effort to reduce crime,” said Captain Munro.
She added that it was important for residents to report crimes and be willing to testify in court. She also called on residents to work together to ensure a safe summer festive season.
Meanwhile, Cape Town Central police station was one of the busiest police stations in the country. The number of murders in the area increased to 11 while there was 1 143 common assault cases. In property-related crimes, burglaries at non-residential increased to 265 reported cases. Burglaries at residential premises, also saw an increase from 539 to 686 cases.
There were also 3 770 reported cases of theft out of or from motor vehicles.
Marc Truss, chairperson of the Cape Town Central CPF, said that the crime statistics which were released were not a true reflection of what was happening on the ground. He also warned residents in the area to be aware of their surroundings. “There are huge challenges in a proactive approach to fighting crime, we need to pool resources and face the challenge of reducing acts of criminal behaviour as one united front, trying to fend of these transgressions on your own, is almost an impossible task,” he said.
Mr Truss said that it was important for residents to be vigilant and to “not take chances”. He added: “If one can understand the various activities in your area, one starts to plan around such and becomes more intuitive, therefore in doing so, measures are put in place to prevent random acts of crime taking place.”