CPF meeting

Long Street is still a crime hot spot.
The Cape Town Central police precinct remains the area with the most theft out of motor vehicles and robberies in the city. 

This was revealed at the latest community-police forum (CPF) meeting, held on Thursday November 1 at the Cape Town Central police station. 

Police reported that Sector 1, which is the CBD, is the problematic area for robberies, while Sector 3 – the Green Point and Foreshore, is problematic for theft out of motor vehicles. 

Sir Lowry, Adderley, Strand, Long and Constitution streets were identified as the hotspots for crime, especially on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays. 

It was also reported that most incidents occur with suspected thieves breaking windows of cars and then looking for something to steal inside. There were also cases of remote jamming, but these were more organised. Laptops were one of the main things that were reported missing. 

Adderley and Long Streets were identified as the biggest problem areas when it comes to common robberies, and cellphones were stolen most of the time, especially outside clubs at night. 

Colonel Andre Coetzee told the meeting that the police are working on increasing visibility, and they have also put undercover police officers in the area. 

“To try to prevent the robberies from escalating, we have established a new crime prevention group that will work on Saturdays in the hotspot areas.” 

He said the police have on numerous occasions told people to not use their cellphones outside the clubs, and had a number of pamphlet drives with safety tips on how to prevent falling victim to robberies or theft. 

The Central City Improvement District (CCID) safety manager Muneeb Hendricks said most common cases of robbery is at the end of the night, when patrons call their lift or an Uber, they walk to the nearest corner with their cellphones out. He suggested that the clubs take responsibility for their patrons, and have them wait for their lifts inside the club. 

The CPF Chair, Marc Truss, said the public needs to be educated. “We need to advise and guide people. We can try to help them by creating awareness. It’s a quick fix, but it’s a step in the right direction. 

Ed Saunders, a Long Street businessman, said the aggressive begging is getting out of hand. He said he has been in Long Street for 12 years, and the club strip is deteriorating. “We all need to work together, and we need help from SAPS. Having a presence in that area makes a big difference, bit we are a long way to go before we get the space back to the way it was.” 

Another Long Street businessman, Kevin Ellman, said there are children coming in from the Cape Flats to rob people. “They do drugs, and they pickpocket people. We need visible policing by foot patrol. The moment the police drive by and they are gone, that’s when the crime happens.” 

Mr Hendricks said the CCID has a dedicated Law Enforcement officer and two CCID guards dealing with aggressive begging, trying to stop the street people from harassing the public. 

“We have had two aggressive beggars that we recently got into a programme through our social outreach team. They are now earning a stipend by cleaning the Green Market Square, so we hope that they will stay in the programme so that we can assist them.”