Thefts out of vehicles have dropped 6.2% from 3 956 to 3 710 cases in the Cape Town Central precinct, but it wasn’t enough to dislodge the station from its spot leading that crime category nationally.
This is according to the latest national crime statistics. Released last Thursday, they are a record of reported crimes over the past fiscal year.
They showed the country had 21 022 murders from the beginning of April in 2018 to the end of March in 2019 – 686 more than the previous year – an increase of 3.4%.
In the Western Cape, murders increased by 6.6% from 3729 cases last year to 3974 this year with the top cause being gang-related.
There were seven murders in the Cape Town Central precinct for 2018/2019, down by one case compared to the previous year.
According to Crime Stats SA, 30 118 crimes across all categories were reported to Cape Town Central police during the year in review, putting the precinct in first place for the amount of crime reported nationally.
Thefts from motor vehicles is a crime category the station has long wrestled with over the years, and it has occupied the top spot in the country for this crime more than once.
The station also topped the national list with the most theft cases reported (they were down from 5 067 to
4 394 cases), and it was second on the list for common robbery, down marginally from 1 079 to 1 070 this year.
Robbery with aggravating circumstances has gone up 8.5% from 662 to 718 cases.
Cape Town Central had the seventh-highest number of drug-related crimes as a result of police action, even though the number of cases actually dropped 20.1%, from 2 894 to 2 313 cases.
Cape Town Central police spokesman, Captain Ezra October, said police had been hitting drug dealers hard, making daily arrests.
Captain October said that although Cape Town Central had topped the list for the most reported crime in the country, it had actually seen a 10.9% drop in all crimes reported, and property-related crimes had dropped 7.8%. “In the past 10 years, we’ve seen a higher density of influx of people in the city than that of Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban, as well as more cars, tourists, and an increase in development. Because of this, the station forms part of the 17 priority serious crime stations within the Western Cape,” said Captain October.
The sexual-offences category has increased by 7.7% from 52 to 56 cases. The category includes rape, which is up 17.9% from 28 to 33 cases.
The Cape Town Central Improvement District (CCID), said crime in the CBD had fallen 13% between June and August this year, thanks to regular joint operations by the CCID, the police, City law enforcement and security firms.
CCID security manager, Muneeb Hendricks, said the CBD was a huge economic hub, drawing millions of people, with about 300 000 people entering the city daily, so it stood to reason it would have higher crime volumes than precincts with smaller populations.
“If you look at the crime stats, only one or two categories have pushed up the totals, giving the appearance that crime is rampant in the city. The most prevalent crimes are related to property, and are not violent crimes such as murder or armed robbery.”
Cape Town Central is 26th on the list of top-30 police stations for contact crimes, but this category has seen a 7.5% decrease in the past year, said Mr Hendricks. He also pointed to a 7.8% drop in property-related crimes and a drop in commercial crime and shoplifting.
Commericalcrime dropped 3.9%, from 1058 to 1017 cases and shoplifting fell 27.8%, from 1061 to 766 cases.
He said the CCID was planning to deploy additional members from December 2019 through to March 2020.
The Cape Town Central community police forum chairman, Marc Truss, said the community should work with the police to combat crime. “The public need to get involved and share information with the police and law enforcement agencies. We need to be more vigilant.”
Meanwhile, contact crime at Table Bay police station remains low, with no murders or attempted murders.
There were two incidents of assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm, down from eight last year.
Sexual offences fell from seven last year to six this year.
The most prevalent crimes were theft and shoplifting, although both were down, theft from 573 to 484 cases and shoplifting from 298 to 216.
Drug-related crime dropped from 54 to 16 cases.