First meeting ‘a forum for solutions’

The Cape Town Central police held its first meeting of the year with security stakeholders of the city bowl on Thursday January 30 at the station.

Starting off with a prayer, the meeting chairperson, Colonel Andre Coetzee, said the police wanted to start the year with strengthening partnerships and using public meetings to engage with the community and find solutions to crime.

Police reported that the city centre was still the biggest contributor to crime, with robbery and theft out of motor vehicle being the most problematic crime. Other areas which are increasingly becoming problematic were Oranjezicht, Vredehoek, Waterkant and District Six.

Business robberies were also becoming problematic, and cellphone shops were being targeted, as well as chain snatching, particularly around the transport hubs.

During a short reflection of the past two months, Colonel Coetzee said a member of the police was shot and killed in Heerengracht Street (“Slain cop hailed ‘unsung hero’”, Atlantic Sun, January 16), while two police officers were shot at in Springfield Terrace, District Six, when they chased down a robbery suspect.

The community pointed out the man, who was hiding in a wheelie bin, and he was arrested. He said police officers should remain vigilant and protect each other.

Mr Hendricks, called for a planning meeting to strategise and brainstorm on new approaches to deal with crime.

“We should do more preventative policing and awareness campaigns, and bring the roleplayers around the table again. We have been doing the same things and it doesn’t seem to be working.”

Colonel Coetzee agreed, saying that police members on the ground should start walking around instead of driving, as visibility was an important part of community policing.

District Six neighbourhood watch member Igsaab Alexander said in District Six, they were battling with illegal occupation on the fields, and that when people were removed by law enforcement, they returned an hour later.

Warrant officer Neill Capoto was applauded for excellent work as he secured a conviction for a case where a man was killed and two women robbed in Kloof Street last year (“Good Samaritan stabbed during street robbery”, Atlantic Sun, October 19, 2019).

Nasheem Beukes, received a 10 year sentence for robbery, 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances, and 25 years for murder. The incident took place in October last year, when two women were robbed, and a witness gave chase to try to apprehend the suspect.

The suspect then stabbed the witness, who died on the scene.

Acting head of Detectives, Captain Wynand Swart, said Warrant Officer Capoto, who was appointed the investigating officer, was applauded by the court for a fully investigated docket.

“He ensured that all the evidence had been collected and ready for trial, as well as ensured that the witnesses were ready to testify.

Beukes was found guilty and sentenced in the Western Cape High Court.