Mixed report for police

2015-10-06 06:00
Police search a suspected drug outlet during a routine weekly operation held in throughout the police Cluster. 

PHOTO: 
Samantha Lee(file)

Police search a suspected drug outlet during a routine weekly operation held in throughout the police Cluster. PHOTO: Samantha Lee(file)

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The national crime statistics released last week show that the Mitchell’s Plain and Strandfontein policing precincts have seen a drop in most crimes in the past Financial year while the Lentegeur police precinct has reported an increase in all crime categories.

Mitchell’s Plain

Murders in the Mitchell’s Plain police precinct dropped from 156 in the previous year to 141 in the past year to March.

Total sexual offences dropped from 257 cases to 213. Cases of attempted murder decreased from 251 to 231.

Cases of assault with grievous bodily harm decreased marginally to 567 in the past year to March.

Common assault decreased 15% to 1847 cases, while common robbery decreased from 929 to 897 cases.

The statistics show 15 fewer cases of arson were reported and there was also a drop in cases of malicious damage to property by 43 incidents.

Property-related crime decreased from 3 851 cases to 2 926 in the past year to March.

There were slight increases in armed robbery and business robberies.

Car-jacking saw the highest increase, with 73 cases reported in the past year to March while there were no cases in the previous year.

Lentegeur The most significant of increase in crime in the Lentegeur police precinct was reported in sexual offences.

Cases of sexual offences, which includes rape, more than doubled to a total of 82 cases in the year up to March. This is 122% higher than the 37 reported in the previous year.

However, police in the area have reported some positive increases with 68 more arrests for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, 807 more arrests for drug-related offences, 141 more arrests for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and one more arrest for a sexual offence as a result of police action.

Strandfontein

The decreases in crime reported in the Strandfontein police precinct range from one to 115 cases.

Murders increased from two to five.

Armed robberies increased from 89 cases to 99. Car-jacking jumped – from no cases reported in the previous year to 11 cases this year.

Abie Isaacs, chairperson of the Mitchell’s Plain Community Police Forum (CPF), says although there has been a significant decrease in most crimes, Mitchell’s Plain remains one of the ten priority stations.

“Our areas of concern include gang activities. It is unfortunate that there are no categories that speak specifically to this. It becomes murder or attempted murder,” he says. A strong focus on other gang-ridden areas, has caused an influx of firearms to Mitchell’s Plain, he believes.

But Isaacs does commend residents for taking back their streets and reporting crime. He also encourages more residents to participate in crime prevention activities and to report incidents.

Sandy Schuter, Strandfontein CPF chairperson agrees that active partnerships have contributed to the drop in crime.

“We have seen a drastic improvement in the policing response and the police have stepped up their patrols. We have had no complaints about them thus far. The community is also constantly active and the neighbourhood watch is excited to work with police,” she says.

These partnerships need to be maintained to bring a positive and longlasting change in the area, she further explains.

Lentegeur CPF chairperson Mark Brookes says they don’t believe the statistics are a true reflection of the crime but says there has been big improvements.
He too commends police for their increases in arrests but encourages residents to join the fight against crime by joining organisations. He says gangs are contributors to crime in the area: “Once we can have gang shootings under control, we can have peace in our communities.”
As this is a new station, he believes next year will show a more realistic reflection of the crime.


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