Theft tops reported crimes

Thefts, thefts out of vehicles and common robbery are the most common crimes reported in the city centre and surrounds and will be the focus of crime-fighting efforts this festive season.

This was heard at a crime imbizo held last week, and chaired by the Central City Improvement District’s security manager, Muneeb Hendricks.

Crime reports shared at the meeting showed that between April 2018 and March 2019, most crimes reported in the city centre were described as “general theft”, followed by thefts out of motor vehicles.

“One of the common transgressions is theft out of motor vehicles, with the others being muggings and robbery,” said Mr Hendricks, who added that often items stolen during these incidents were not reclaimed by the victims of crime.

“In a case of being robbed or mugged, you can always go to your designated station regularly to check if SAPS doesn’t have your goods.”

Commander of visible policing, Colonel Andre Coetzee, said despite repeated pleas to motorists to lock away valuables, many continued to leave them in their cars, in plain sight of passers-by.

And criminals are using technology to help them get what they want. “There are remote jamming devices which these criminals use to get into vehicles,” he said.

He added that the use of remote jammers had led to an increase in the number of thefts out of motor vehicles and urged motorists to always make sure their cars were locked before walking away from them.

Increasingly, said Colonel Coetzee , users of e-hailing ride services were becoming victims of common robbery.

“They either use knives to forcefully take goods or they snatch and run.”

He said that these crimes predominantly happen between Thursday and Monday and to curb these incidents police would be increasingly their visibility by having more foot patrols.

“The eradication of crime can only happen if there is a continuation of unity among partners.”

Echoing this sentiment, Cape Town Central police spokesperson, Captain Ezra October, said SAPS’ close working relationship with neighbourhood watches, business owners and the City of Cape Town had helped boost their efforts to prevent and reduce crime.

“All of these partners have made a big contribution towards the successes we have made.”

However, said Lieutenant Colonel Weinand Swaart police’s crime-fighting efforts were often hampered by victims who did not report crimes, or who did not want to see the process through after having provided a statement. “With regards to our priority crimes, we often find that after victims have given their statements, they are reluctant to participate in the escalation process.”

Another challenge was those who lied about crimes, claiming to have been a victim of crime so that they could claim from their insurance.”Should we find out that a complainant lied, they will be arrested for perjury.”

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