Kraal arrests lead to drop in crime

The Kraal in Bo-Kaap has been a headache for police.

According to the Cape Town Central police, theft out of motor vehicles and muggings have significantly decreased following the arrest of five people living at the informal settlement in Bo-Kaap known as the Kraal.

Cape Town Central police spokesperson Captain Ezra October, said they’ve noticed that the criminals come to the city centre to mug people and break into cars and then move up to the Kraal and Quarry to hide there.

The sector manager for the area, Constable Louis Texeira, said following a spike in robberies, especially during the times that tourists are in the city and in Bo-Kaap, he started speaking to the Bo-Kaap residents and viewed some of the camera footage in the area.

“I recognised one of the suspects, and he lived at the Kraal, so I went to do a patrol and he walked into me. I brought him to the police station and we profiled him, which linked him to an armed robbery in Buitengracht Street.”

Constable Texeira said last week, they were called out to Longmarket Street after a tourist was robbed at knifepoint.

“After speaking to people in the area and looking at video footage, the man identified in the robbery was recognised as a repeat offender, who is also from the Kraal. I went from home to arrest him.”

Three men and a woman were arrested, he said, in connection with another incident during which a car had been broken into in the Chiappini Street area. It turned out they have also been living at the Kraal.

“Since the arrest of these five people, we’ve seen crime significantly drop in the area, so it is clear that these people are contributing to crime.”

He said the Kraal had been a headache for police, with drug usage and illegal immigrants living in six structures on the land. He added that it was easy for criminals to hide out there, as they could escape up into the mountain or hide in the long grass. “We have weekly joint operations at the Kraal, and I visit the space every day to show police presence,” said Constable Texeira.

Questions to the City of Cape Town about the state and the future of the Kraal went unanswered at the time of going to print.