Isipingo is province’s carjacking capital

2013-10-05 00:00

ISIPINGO in Durban is KwaZulu-Natal’s carjacking capital based on your risk of falling victim to the crime.

A Weekend Witness analysis of the latest police crime statistics on carjackings shows that in Isipingo there were 292 carjackings for every 100 000 people this year, compared to 268 per 100 000 in 2012 — a significant increase in risk.

The analysis is based on policing precincts so that it can take in a wider area than simply a suburb that a precinct may be named after.

Isipingo is followed by Bayview, also in Durban, with 234 carjackings for every 100 000 people, compared to 2012 when it was far lower at 205 per 100 000.

In Pietermaritzburg, the central city precinct recorded 41 carjackings for every 100 000 people this year, compared to 36 carjackings last year.

Meanwhile, Town Hill — where yesterday’s attempted carjacking took place — there were no reporting carjackings at all in the last year of police records.

John de Jesus, Pietermaritzburg cluster chairperson of the Community Policing Forums, said his cluster was the biggest in the province, with 13 police stations.

“The biggest challenge that we have is not having community projects for awareness campaigns, so that the community does lend a helping hand to the police.

“The police cannot fight crime on their own,” he said.

De Jesus said, at the moment, the police were affected by the closure of specialised units in KwaZulu-Natal.

“The police officers who were working in those specialised units had informers who were established to prevent crime and also to ensure that once a criminal offence had been committed, the police knew where to start looking for answers,” said De Jesus.

He said his cluster had the most carjackings, with incidents in Pietermaritzburg’s Central Business District, Hilton, Alexandra Road and Mountain Rise areas.

“In Hilton, we have a high number of trucks being hijacked on the freeway [N3],” de Jesus said.

He said despite these challenges, they were receiving help from police brass who had established a task team that was working with them to fight crime in this cluster.

Another way to improve the fight against carjackings was to have the local traffic authorities, provincial traffic authorities and South African Police Service working together, and involving community members in their structure rather than working in silos, he said.

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