Crime causes concern

2016-06-08 06:00

HARRISMITH. – The police in Harrismith have been making the community aware of the increase in crime in the town, township and surrounding farms that affect families, businesses and farming communities.

They say it is also the community’s responsibility to assist in policing some of the crimes.

Police spokesperson Sgt Mmako Mophi­ring said the town and rural families had been affected by various crimes such as murder, sexual offences, stock theft and housebreakings in residential and business areas.

He added that the police were concerned about the manner in which these crimes had been carried out.

“In the case of sexual offences, the police want to make people aware that some of these crimes take place when victims are on their way home after they have been drinking. Crimes such as these are also committed during domestic violence and are related to alcohol abuse.

“Of concern to the police are also incidents where knives and sharp instruments are used to stab victims.

“Assaults after heavy drinking are also on the increase. Some of the victims are also robbed of their personal belongings while walking alone at night in the streets or open fields,” he said.

He said housebreakings in residential areas and business premises had also become common.

“In recent times, these crimes have been committed in broad daylight. We request housewives, domestic workers and gardeners to be on the lookout and report suspicious vehicles and people carrying suspected stolen property.

“We also urge business owners to co-operate with the police by allowing them access to inspect their premises. Recent incidents have shown that criminals often gain access through the roofs of buildings.

“Business owners should also consider installing high-density monitoring cameras,” Mophiring said.

He said the police were also greatly concerned about a sharp increase in the theft of cellphone tower batteries, especially in parts of the Eastern Free State.

“Recently, batteries were stolen on a farm. It is suspected that these batteries are taken to neighbouring countries.

“The police want to warn members of the community against buying such batteries and to report people who offer them for sale. The theft of these batteries affects signals and interferes with electronic communication.

“Solar panels have also been targeted by these criminals,” he said.

He appealed to members of the farming community to share any information they might have of stock theft with the police.

“This will assist us in monitoring the transportation of suspected stolen livestock without proper documents.

“They must also ensure that animals are branded, so as to comply with the Livestock Act.

“People must refrain from buying livestock without documents and they must always try to buy from a reputable source. There has been an increase in stock theft in areas such as Tshiame and Makgolo­kweng near Harrismith.

“Any person who is willing to voluntarily work closer with the police or give information which can assist in curbing crime can contact the Harrismith police on 058-624-1000,” he concluded.

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