Car break-ins trending

2015-07-07 06:01

Gangs, drugs, problem properties and robberies were some of the issues highlighted at an imbizo hosted by the Steenberg police over the weekend.

Residents, Neighbourhood Watch members and members of the local civic association attended the meeting.

Lieutenant-Colonel Adriaan Saulse of the Steenberg police shared the crime statistics recorded in the area.

He said while there has been a decrease in the number of cars stolen, one of the main concerns was theft out of cars.

“We are concerned about theft out of motor vehicles and urge residents to take extra care of their belongings. We have had about three to four theft of vehicles reported in the last two months,” he said.

The Steenberg police have made 173 drug-related arrests which include suspects being arrested for drug-dealing.

The police also made 18 firearm-related arrests and Saulse said these arrests were related to gang violence in the area.

“Whenever there is conflict or a shoot-out we step in and do our stop-and-searching and this is when we find firearms and make arrests,” he said.

Robberies were also of great concern to the police as many times schoolchildren became a target, Saulse said.

“This is a very traumatic experience for anyone, but especially more so for young children. They are reluctant to come forward and testify against the perpetrator and therefore many of these robbery suspects get away with the crime. We want to urge parents and young people to stand up and not be afraid to go to court to testify against the person who robbed them, as they could help prevent the person from robbing someone else in future,” he explained.

Saulse said that many of the perpetrators were well-known in the neighbourhood and people were afraid of coming forward as they feared they would be victimised.

“There are many occasions where people watch the crime occur, but when the police call on witnesses no-one comes forward to assist us and we need to change the mindset of the community and make our partnership strong by communicating better,” he said.

Residents present at the meeting raised their concerns, including the “bad response time” by the Steenberg police as well as the “attitudes” of some police officers.

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