Report crime

2015-08-04 06:01

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Why does it take the death of one of their own before the police puts all their manpower and effort into finding the culprits responsible for the same series of attacks over some years.

Last week Warrant Officer Petrus Holz, a Hawks official, was stabbed to death next to the N2 while changing a flat tyre. This after his vehicle hit obstacles placed in the road by the culprits to force unsuspecting victims to pull over. Arrests followed two days later.

These incidents – same modus operandi, possibly even the same culprits – however date back more than two years. We constantly hear about attacks and stone throwing at certain hot spots on the N2 and the R300. So why only now has someone been arrested?

When you start looking into individual incidents, talking to supposed victims or asking the police to confirm reported incidents, it turns out that many of these incidents, much like many other crimes, were never reported.

The police cannot act when they don’t know a crime has been committed. They can’t arrest anyone on hearsay, and they can’t investigate a crime they heard of through the grapevine. Yet they are first in line when the public starts handing out blame because nothing was done.

The problem is there is still a perception among many that reporting a crime won’t bear any fruit – just another docket to add to the unsolved pile.

In too many communities people also live in fear of criminals, so they rather keep mum on what they have seen. In Manenberg last week a policeman was hit unconscious by a brick as stones flew during a march. Yet between hundreds of protestors not a single person saw who threw the brick.

As long as we stay quiet, criminals have won and are going to continue to terrorise our communities. It is time to drop the “it won’t help attitude” and speak up. Give those responsible for enforcing our laws the ammunition to help keep us safe

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