Long way to crime-free

2015-06-16 06:00
While crime and grime remain an issue in Wynberg, police and the City of Cape Town are also addressing the issue of homelessness in the community. 

astrid februaie

While crime and grime remain an issue in Wynberg, police and the City of Cape Town are also addressing the issue of homelessness in the community. PHOTO: astrid februaie

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Homelessness, robberies and house break-ins were among the issues were highlighted at a Wynberg Community Policing Forum meeting last week.

Brigadier Riaan Booysen, station commander of Wynberg police station, addressed crime issues in the community.

“Although we may have seen a decrease in certain crime categories, we still have a very long way to go in fighting crime,” he said.

Booysen said that violent crimes, theft out of cars and house break-ins remained a concern for the police and they continued to monitor and police these crimes.

Booysen said a large percentage of the crimes committed were by individuals who came into the community from neighbouring areas.

“Many of these crimes take place either in the early hours of the morning or late at night, but we have experienced robberies and house break-ins during the day as well,” he said.

He said drug-related crimes were a major problem for the police.

“We implement many operations and many of our resources go into fighting this crime and for the past financial year we made about 5691 arrests related to drugs,” he said.

Booysen further said the issue around homelessness was complex.

“While we do police this, it is a social problem and the police cannot just move people from one place to another,” he said.

Booysen urged the community to be patient with homeless people during winter.

“We have to be humane towards everyone, but we will act if there is a major problem and call in other departments or professionals who can assist us,” he said.

Guest speaker Cornelia Finch, coordinator of the City of Cape Town’s street people programme, also addressed the issue of homelessness.

Finch said the City had adopted a street people policy to reduce the number of people living on the streets and reintegrate them with their families and into their communities of origin.

“The City aims to have a holistic, integrated approach in dealing with the street people phenomenon. This is achieved through partnerships with NGOs, community-based organisations and various government departments at national and provincial level,” she said.

The programme focuses on prevention and rehabilitation. “During the prevention component we focus on identifying and working with children at risk at community level by providing the necessary support and alternative programmes to ensure that they remain with their families within the communities. This work is done by the local networks of care in collaboration with other stakeholders.


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