Residents raise concerns over policing

The Sea Point area.

Sea Point police station commander, Colonel Helena Mouton, has urged residents to report all crime incidents and come forward to discuss any concerns with her.

This follows complaints from residents about a lack of resources and an increase in crime in the area.

Jacques Weber, chairman of the Sea Point Central Improvement District (SPCID), wrote to the provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Yolisa Matakata, raising concerns about the issues facing the community.

Among the issues was the shortage of detectives and reduction in visible policing in the area.

Mr Weber said residents have seen a drastic reduction in the levels of policing in the area and that the shortage of detectives was affecting the quality of investigation and follow through on criminal matters.

He said Covid-19 made the situation worse, with several members being in self-isolation (“Station closed again,” Atlantic Sun, May 28).

Ward councillor, Nicola Jowell, posted on her Facebook page that she was concerned that there have been reports of muggings and chain snatches that have taken place.

She said the incidents have involved perpetrators both in vehicles and on foot. “I absolutely understand residents’ reluctance to go to the police station to open a case but cannot stress enough how important it is that a case is opened. You can call the police station and ask them to come to you to open a case and you can even do the paperwork while standing outside with the required social distancing and masks,”she said.

She said SAPS operations and numbers are determined by the crime patterns and crimes are plotted according to their location and the deployment of resources are done accordingly. Ms Jowell added that a number of senior SAPS members were redeployed to other areas under the lockdown and have not yet been allocated back to Sea Point.

Sea Point Police station spokesperson, Captain Elizabeth Munro, said the station, like most police stations in the metropole, was affected by Covid-19. “Members fell ill, they went on self-isolation, therefore we were able to put out only one patrol vehicle at times,” she said.

Touching on the increase of crime incidents in the area, Captain Munro said during level 5 of the lockdown crime dropped, as everyone was under lockdown and movement restricted. “Levels 4 and 3 showed an increase in crime reported, if you measure it against level 5 reported crime. Colonel Mouton has encouraged residents to report all incidents,” she said.